Three Ways to Keep Food Safe When You Lose Power

Here are simple ways to help keep your food safe when you experience a power outage. If your loss of power is due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster, check out the Food Safety in a Disaster or Emergency section.

1. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed.
A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours, or 24 hours if it is half-full, if you don’t open the door.

2. After the power outage, check each food item separately.

If the power outage lasts longer than 4 hours, throw away refrigerated food like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. If food in your freezer is partially or completely thawed, it can be safely re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.

3. When in doubt, throw it out.

Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch, and nevertaste a food to decide if it’s safe.  Find specific items in our When to Save It and When to Throw It Outcharts for refrigerated and frozen foods during power outages.
Read the full report here.
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