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Food Safety During a Power Outage

Category Power Outage
Meat in Freezer
When you lose electricity during a storm or emergency, there are some ways to help keep your food at proper temperatures until it is turned back on. This guide is about food safety during a power outage.
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February 25, 2010

This past weekend, my power went out and I was not expecting that to happen. We had quite a few inches of snow on the ground. I took my food out of the fridge and placed everything into a large plastic storage crate.

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I sat the crate in the snow and kept it there until the power came back on late Sunday night. This kept my food from spoiling and I could get whatever I needed easily. I just had to open my back door. It was like having a freezer at my disposal. I have always done this in the winter if the power went out.

By triciaminter from Ridgeway, VA

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June 14, 20011 found this helpful

As you may know, we have had a horrible storm that has hit Houston, Texas. A lot of people are without power and will be for several days. I do have a freezer and of course a freezer in the refrigerator.

What I have done for some time is to empty plastic milk cartons and fill them with water. This will not take up much room in your freezer. If your power does go out, at least the ice in the carton will keep your food cold. Keep the doors shut as much as possible.

You never know when your power will go out or for how long. I just wanted to share this with others as in the past I did try to use dry ice and found it does not last that long. This way what do you have to lose. Best of all it is free!

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By JSRS

Comment Was this helpful? 1

June 2, 2017

Always keep a quarter on top of a frozen ice cube tray. If the quarter has sunk to the bottom, you know the things in the freezer thawed and refroze during a power outage and are not safe to eat. This tip is especially useful if you were away from home on vacation for a few days or more.

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November 5, 20130 found this helpful

This guide is about food safety after a hurricane. During a bad storm, power outages and flood waters can contaminate foods in ways that aren't always obvious.

A sign that says hurricane season.

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April 26, 20020 found this helpful

Ella Mae Bard, C.F.C.S. Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Knox County

"Sooner or later there will be a problem. It might be a winter ice storm or summer wind and rain. There are also questions about food safety when the freezer fails or is accidentally unplugged.

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If at all possible, wait until power is on before opening the freezer door. Each door opening increases the interior temperature and decreases the time foods will hold safely without power."

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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