Better Safe Than Sorry

October 9, 2019

If the power goes out at home, it’s important to keep your food supply safe – especially if the outage lasts a few hours or longer. Please remember these tips:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Most refrigerators will keep food safe for up to four hours during a power outage if kept closed. A full freezer will maintain a safe temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full).
  • After four hours or more without power, discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers.
  • Frozen food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below; however, its quality may suffer.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety after a power outage. Evaluate each item separately. When in doubt, throw it out!

For more details, use these charts from* as a guide.

Did you know?

You may not need to discard everything from your refrigerator. You should be able to keep:

  • Hard cheese (Cheddar, Colby, Swiss…)
  • Processed cheese
  • Butter or margarine
  • Fresh, uncut fruit
  • Fresh, uncut vegetables
  • Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices
  • Fruit juices or canned fruit (opened)
  • Fruit jelly or pies
  • Dried or candied fruits, raisins, dates
  • Condiments (mustard, catsup, relish…)
  • Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin sauces
  • Vinegar-based dressings (opened)

From your freezer, a few items usually can be refrozen even if thawed:

  • Hard cheeses
  • Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (no custard fillings)
  • Waffles, pancakes, bagels
  • Flour, cornmeal, nuts

Otherwise, don’t take a chance – throw it out!

*This information is from a website maintained by an outside party, which is entirely responsible for the site’s content.