With thousands of residents without power because of Tropical Storm Isabel, the Washington County Health Department has issued some guidelines on food safety when freezers and refrigerators are out of commission.
"When in doubt, throw it out," is the best rule-of-thumb, said Rod MacRae, Health Department spokesman.
Some tips for saving food would include dividing the items among friends whose freezers are working; using freezer space at a church, store, school or commercial freezer that is still in service; or carefully storing items in dry ice.
Thawed food usually can be eaten or refrozen if it is still "refrigerator cold" or if it still contains ice crystals.
Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, or food that has an unusual odor.