Food Safety During a Power Outage

Posted at 8:50 a.m.

This wind storm has knocked out power to more than 100,000 customers so far. If you are one of those who are affected, it’s important that you take steps to prevent illness from unsafe food and water.

The easiest thing to remember is When in doubt, throw it out!” And here are some other tips to keep in mind:

Refrigerated Food

  • Food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours.
  • Keep the door closed as much as possible.
  • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.
  • Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
  • Use this chart to determine if individual food items should be kept or thrown out.

Frozen Food

  • Thawed or partially thawed food in the freezer may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals.
  • If you keep an appliance thermometer in your freezer, it’s easy to tell whether food is safe. If it reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe and can be refrozen.
  • Partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat.
  • Always discard any items in the freezer that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
  • Use this chart to determine if individual food items should be kept or thrown out.

More Information

food safety graphic

 

 

 

5 responses to “Food Safety During a Power Outage”

  1. Anonymous says :

    What about ice cream in the freezer? It looks like it refroze. Should it be thrown out?