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Guidelines For Dealing With Refrigerated and Frozen Foods

FROZEN FOODS:
When to Save and When to Throw Out

Printable (pdf) Frozen Food Guidelines

Meat, Poultry and Seafood

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Beef, veal, lamb, pork, ground meats

Refreeze

Discard

Poultry, ground poultry

Refreeze

Discard

Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)

Refreeze

Discard

Casseroles, stews, soups, convenience foods, pizza

Refreeze

Discard

Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products

Refreeze

Discard


Dairy, Eggs, Cheese

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Milk

Refreeze

Discard

Eggs, (out of shells), egg products

Refreeze

Discard

Ice cream, frozen yogurt

Discard

Discard

Hard cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan)

Refreeze

Refreeze

Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses

Refreeze

Discard

Cheesecake

Refreeze

Discard


Fruits

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Juices

Refreeze

Refreeze (discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops)

Home or commercial packaged

Refreeze

Refreeze (discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops)

Vegetables

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Juices

Refreeze

Discard if above 40 º F for over 6 hours

Home or commercially packaged, blanched

Refreeze (may suffer flavor and texture loss)

Discard if above 40 º F for over 6 hours


Breads, Pastries

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without custard filling)

Refreeze

Refreeze

Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese fillings

Refreeze

Discard

Pie crusts

Refreeze

Refreeze

Commercial and homemade bread dough

Refreeze (may suffer some quality loss)

Refreeze (will suffer considerable quality loss)


Other Foods

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Casseroles – pasta; rice-based

Refreeze

Discard

Flour, cornmeal, nuts

Refreeze

Refreeze


REFRIGERATED FOODS:

When to Save and When to Throw Out

Printable (pdf) Refrigerated Foods Guidelines

Meat, Poultry and Seafood

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Fresh or leftover meat, poultry, fish, seafood

Safe

Discard

Thawing meat or poultry

Safe

Discard if warmer than refrigerator temperatures

Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, egg salad,

Safe

Discard

Gravy, stuffing

Safe

Discard

Lunch meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef

Safe

Discard

Pizza - with any topping

Safe

Discard

Canned meats (not labeled “Keep Refrigerated”) – refrigerated after opening

Safe

Discard

Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”

Safe

Discard

Casseroles, soups, stews

Safe

Discard


Dairy, Eggs, Cheese

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt

Safe

Discard

Butter, margarine

Safe

Safe

Baby formula – opened

Safe

Discard

Eggs-fresh, hard cooked in shell

Safe

Discard

Eggs dishes, custard puddings

Safe

Discard

Hard cheeses, processed cheeses
(Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan) Grated and Shredded

Safe

Safe

Soft cheeses, cottage cheese

Safe

Discard


Fruits

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Juices - opened

Safe

Safe

Canned - opened

Safe

Safe

Whole fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates

Safe

Safe

Cut/Chopped Fruits  Safe  Discard 

Vegetables

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Cooked, juice – opened

Safe

Discard after 6 hours

Baked potatoes

Safe

Discard

Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices

Safe

Safe

Garlic – chopped in oil or butter

Safe

Discard

Raw Vegetables  Safe  Safe 


Pies, Pastries

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Pastries – cream filled

Safe

Discard

Pies – custard, cheese filled, chiffons

Safe

Discard

Pies – fruit

Safe

Safe


Bread, Cakes, Cookies, Pasta

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Bread, Rolls, Cakes, muffins, quick breads

Safe

Safe

Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough

Safe

Discard

Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes

Safe

Discard

Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinegar base

Safe

Discard


Sauces, Spreads, Jams

Type of Product

Food still cold, held at 40º F or above under 2 hours

Held above 40º F for over 2 hours

Mayonnaise, tartar sauces

Safe

Discard if above 50º F for over 8 hours

Peanut butter

Safe

Safe

Opened salad dressing, vinegar, jelly, relish, taco & barbeque sauce, mustard, ketchup, olives

Safe

Safe

Creamy based dressing  Safe   Discard
 Fish Sauce Safe  Discard 

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service Food News for Consumers.


Bucks County Health Department
Administrative Office/Central Bucks
Neshaminy Manor Center, Building K
1282 Almshouse Road
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 to 5:00

Health Department Main Line: 215-345-3318
Environmental: 215-345-3336
Personal Health: 215-345-3344
Department Fax: 215-340-8456

Lower Bucks District Office
Bucks County Lower Bucks Government Services Center
 
7321 New Falls Rd. 
Levittown, PA 19055 
Phone: 267-580-3510
F: 215-949-5819
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Upper Bucks District Office
Bucks County Upper Bucks Government Services Center
261 California Road
Quakertown, PA 18951
Phone: 215-529-7000
F: 215-529-7032
Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm