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Grocery stores toss food spoiled during blackout

September 9, 2011 | 10:50 am

Click here for more photos of the blackout.

At a Vons supermarket in Chula Vista on Friday morning, shopping carts were overflowing with gallons of milk and other dairy products, as well as meats as workers rushed perishable items out the back door to trash bins. 

"It’s all being thrown away," one Vons worker said.

Dozens of supermarkets affected by the blackout were moving quickly to strip their refrigerated shelves of food items that may have spoiled during the power outage that lasted as long as 13 hours.

PHOTOS: Blackout leaves 1.4 million without power

For people at home, Southern California Edison issued food safety tips, suggesting that not all food needs to be tossed.

If the food in the freezer has ice crystals and is not above 40 degrees, it can be refrozen. Most food in the freezer will stay cold for 24 hours and should be safe.

Perishable foods in the refrigerator should not be above 40 degrees for more than two hours, according to tips from Southern California Edison. 


FULL COVERAGE: Southern California blackout

Californians urged to conserve power after blackout

Southern California tries to get back on track after blackout

-- Louis Sahagun in Chula Vista

Photo: Ralphs supermarket section manager David Leonard removes packaged chicken from the refrigerated section of the San Marcos store Friday. Most dairy, meat and fish products were taken from the shelves as a health precaution because power was off Thursday afternoon and through the night due to a blackout. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times