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The storm wasn't that bad

No dairy at Porter Square Shaw's

Lisa reports the cream, cheese and yogurt shelves at the Porter Square Star Market were empty today, not because of a frenzied rush by storm-maddened shoppers, but because something made the power go out to that section of the store and workers had to throw everything out.

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Comments

What made it go mad?

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Fixed the typo.

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Couldn't they have moved it outside -- like into a trailer in the back of the store? It was pretty cold today.

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... and nobody caught on, it would be too late to save it.

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but that doesn't mean something wouldn't necessarily go unnoticed.

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I'm assuming that the fire department evacuated everyone...customers and employees alike. No way would they have allowed the employees to stay in the store and strip product from a bad fridge to a good one.

Basic food safety laws would have demanded that any perishable product left without refrigeration for a certain amount of time must be removed from the sales floor and destroyed.

I'm not entirely certain what that time frame would be, but I remember cooking classes telling me not to leave any meat or dairy out of my home refrigerator for more than two hours in order to prevent food poisoning. I'm assuming that is the "magic" cutoff time, although it's possible that a business would have to be even more strict than my admittedly informal classes.

So if the evacuation lasted for, say, an hour and a half, and store staff were allowed back in to find the refrigerators had no power, the store manager would have to assume the refrigeration was out for the entire time the staff was outside the building...and follow the standard protocols for destroying potentially contaminated food.

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I'm not sure why you assume that the FD would evacuate everyone because part of the store lost power. There is no mention of a fire or other threat to life. It doesn't even say the lights went out. Is this some policy I haven't heard of?

Now I see the comment below about smoke from a fire outside the building.

Never mind.

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This and many other urban Shaw's stores got renamed (back) to Star Market years ago.

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The Cambridge Fire Department's Twitter account says that the initial call was at 4:34 am for an odor of smoke or smoke inside the Star Market. Problem was found to be a fire in an underground electrical vault behind the store, on Davenport Street. It required several pieces of apparatus and at least 1-1/2 hours to resolve the problem. During that time the store would have been closed and evacuated. There is also the possibility of contamination by the smoke, which could have required some items to be discarded.

That being said, nowhere in Lisa's tweet, or the replies that follow it, does it say that anything had to be thrown out. Although that does seem likely: if they still had anything in the back, they probably would have restocked the shelves out front.

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