Is the food in my refrigerator still good after a power outage?

If you experience a power outage, you might be wondering if the food in your refrigerator or freezer is still safe to eat. The answer is, “probably not” according to the Louisiana State University AgCenter.

A press release sent out by the center said to, “Discard any perishable food, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers that have been higher than 40 degrees F for two hours. This will be true of most food in your refrigerator if the power was off for more than four hours.”

Your greatest weapon against food spoilage during a power outage is preparation. Here are some tips from LSU and  Nutritionist and food safety expert Beth Reames:

Don’t open the refrigerator or freezer door!

Your unopened refrigerator will still keep your food cold for up to four hours. A full freezer will keep food cold for 48 hours if unopened and a half-full freezer will keep food cold for 24 hours. The more you open the door, the more cool air escapes. Use portable coolers and place items you use most in those coolers in order to protect the majority of your food.

Use a thermometer

Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. Before on outage strikes, make sure that your freezer is set at or below 0 degrees and your refrigerator is at or below 40 degrees.

Buy Dry or Blocked ice

For prolonged periods of power loss, buy dry or blocked ice to keep your fridge or freezer as cold as possible. “Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for two days,” according to Reames.

Keep ice packs on hand

Freeze plastic jugs of ice or gel packs and make sure you always have ice on hand for such emergencies. Use these things to keep food cold during a power outage.

For more tips on food safety during power outages, visit http://www.lsuagcenter.com/.

Read the full story online: “Tips might help save your food when next storm hits.“

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3 responses to “Is the food in my refrigerator still good after a power outage?

  1. Some really helpful tips. I know this is something I used to be worried about when I lived in hurricane country and we had power outages all of the time.

  2. we were out of power for 13 hours then it finaley came back on

    • My power was out for 13 hours and I had to throw away all the dairy products and open condiments…Made me cry! All the can drinks are good…
      I’ll be prepared with dry ice if there is a next time…

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