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How Long Will Food Last in the Fridge if You Lose Power?

Here are guidelines from the USDA regarding the safety of food in a refrigerator without power.

 

With Hurricane Sandy predicted to hit us hard today, losing power is a threat. 

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service prepared a fact sheet for keeping food safe during an emergency, including losing power.

The USDA says to "keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature."

But, the refrigerator will only keep food safely cold for about four hours if unopened during a power outage, according to the USDA. A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours if full (24 hours of half full), the USDA says.

The USDA emphasizes "never to taste food to determine its safety" and says that you should "evaluate each item separately."

Generally, if the temperature in the thermometer in the freezer reads 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the food is safe and can be refrozen, according to the USDA. The USDA suggests obtaining dry or block ice to help keep refrigerated or frozen food cold if the power will be out for an extended period of time.

For more details and for a list of "when to save and when to throw it out" for refrigerated and frozen food items, click on this link:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/keeping_food_safe_during_an_emergency/index.asp

Lisa October 29, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Fill gallon milk jugs and freeze them. Then you can use those in a cooler or even your refrigerator to keep food cold longer. If you don't have gallon jugs, try 2-liter soda bottles.
wendy October 29, 2012 at 02:27 PM
One of the news people said that if you don't have those containers you could use gallon ziplock bags filled with water as well.
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