August 15, 2003

Power Outage Advisory from the Medical Officer of Health

NEWMARKET - Dr. K. Helena Jaczek, Medical Officer of Health for York Region, offers the following safety information for those still affected by the power outage.

Public Safety:

Long Term Care:

Public Health:

Non-Hazardous Foods:

Vegetables, fruits, breads, dry pastas and rice, flour, canned goods and hard cheeses.

These foods can be eaten as long as they were not contaminated with sewage, water or drippings from meats or fish.

Hazardous Foods:

Poultry, beef, pork, fish, cream, eggs, milk, cooked pasta and rice, and soft cheeses.







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These foods must be kept at refrigerated temperatures (4 degrees Celsius or lower or kept frozen at -18 degrees Celsius or lower).

  1. Frozen hazardous foods: If thawed and kept at temperatures higher than 4 degrees Celsius for longer than 4 hours they must not be eaten and should be thrown out.
  2. Frozen foods that appear soft to the touch but still have ice crystals in the food product can be eaten immediately or refrozen, if possible.
  3. Refrigerated hazardous foods left at room temperature above 4 degrees Celsius for longer than 4-6 hours must be discarded and not eaten regardless of how you may intend to heat it or process it.

How long is food safe in refrigerators and freezers during a power outage?

Within 12 hours of a power blackout:

12 hours or more without power:

Tips for cooking meat safety without power:

Important information about infant formula:

If your child is formula-fed, please purchase single-use containers of formula or use powder mix with municipal tap water. If you are not on a municipal water source, please boil water for one minute before using. As always, discard unused formula after one hour.

Food-borne illness:

Food that has been stored or prepared in an unsafe manner may cause serious illness. Typical symptoms of food-borne illness include sudden onset of stomach cramps accompanied with diarrhea, nausea, fever, chills, headache and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention.









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Message to physicians about vaccines:

Please discontinue routine immunizations over the weekend. Refer all vaccination emergencies to the local hospital.

Contact the Cold Chain Nurses on Monday at 905-895-4511 Ext. 4020

Finally, prepare yourself for the possibility of the power outage continuing:

Richmond Hill:

Carrville Food Centre

Harry's No Frills


Fortino's (Maple and Woodbridge)

Longo's (8401 Weston Road, Woodbridge)

Dominion (9200 Weston Road, Woodbridge)

Costco (71 Colossus Place, Woodbridge)

T&T Supermarket (Promenade Circle)

For additional store openings contact Health Connection.

For more information contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit


The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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