We are in the middle of winter, making extreme weather conditions and power outages more common. A power outage can happen at any time, so it’s important to have a plan in place to safely store your food during an emergency. Here’s how to keep your food safe if the power goes out.
Use a refrigerator and freezer thermometer, and check it regularly. Plan to obtain or create ice when a storm is forecast. Keep coolers on hand to store refrigerated food.
Freeze refrigerated items that you may not need immediately, and group foods close together in the freezer. Stock your pantry with a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours, and a full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours Use ice and frozen containers of water or gel packs to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible.
Discard any refrigerated perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, eggs, or leftovers) that has been at temperatures above 40°F for 4 hours or more. If the freezer thermometer reads 40°F or below, food is safe and may be refrozen.