The National Weather Service said the storm is expected to achieve hurricane strength on Thursday as it approaches the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
This type of weather forecast presents the possibility of power outages that could compromise the safety of stored food, said USDA-FSIS.
“Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage,” said the agency.
“Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
“Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.”