Tens of thousands of Oregonians are still without power following a series of ice and snow storms over the weekend.
The prolonged outages mean many people are being forced to discard spoiled food. The US Department of Agriculture says some perishable items such as meat and dairy products will start going bad after just four hours in a fridge without power.
A full freezer can generally keep items cold enough for at least two days. But with some Willamette Valley residents losing power for four days or more, the agency says it’s best to follow the old adage: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
The Oregon Department of Human Services says if discarded food was purchased using food stamps, recipients can apply for replacement benefits. The request has to come within ten days of the food loss. The agency extended a similar offer to people who lost food as a result of last fall’s wildfires.