Surviving the heat: When in doubt, throw it out

Local 4's Paula Tutman shares way to make sure you don't get sick from old food, medications

By Paula Tutman - Reporter

DETROIT - Extreme heat can make you sick in more ways than you realize.

For those who are thinking about the food spoiling in their refrigerator because they've lost power, to those who've left mail order prescription medications on their door stoops a little too long, there are lots of trip wires and pitfalls awaiting the person who's too hot to be vigilant.

Here are some basic guidelines for you to follow:

Let's talk Medications 

Meds that fall out of temperature can loose their effectiveness and become downright dangerous.

Those medications at particular risk for overheating are antibiotics, insulin, hormone creams and gels. Even if medication doesn't need to be refrigerated, it still needs to be kept in a cool location.

Never ever leave medications in vehicles.

And for those who mail order meds, contact your supplier and make arrangements to have your medications shipped to a pharmacy or better yet, try to delay ordering meds during this heat wave so they don't sit in a hot postal carrier's truck.

Let's talk food

They eyes don't have it and neither does the nose.  The look and sniff test just doesn't work, here. 

Foods that fall out of temperature are not good to eat no matter how much you paid for them.

Don't refreeze frozen foods that have thawed.  You run the risk of accidentally growing more bacteria that can really make you sick. 

If the freezer hasn't fallen below 40 degrees, experts say, you're probably in good shape.  But if the temps fell below forty even for a moment, the food may have slipped out of a safe temperature range.  If foods still have a heavy layer of ice crystals on the packaging they're likely okay. 

But a good rule of thumb is when in doubt...throw it out.



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