Fridge/Freezer Power Outage Facts and Tips You Will Want to Remember
Power outages can leave you in the dark, in the cold or in the heat. What you really don’t want them to leave you is hungry. One extended power outage can cost hundreds of dollars in lost food if you aren’t prepared with the knowledge of how to keep your food cool when the lights go out. There are a few things to remember about food safety and keeping food in the fridge and freezer safe and edible during an outage.
- Everything should be fine if the electricity is out no more than four hours and the fridge and freezer doors are kept shut.
- Discard any meat or dairy item that is kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours.
- A full freezer keeps items frozen longer. When fully stocked your freezer items will keep for two days when the door is kept closed. When your freezer is only half way stocked it will keep for one day. You can fill milk jugs or water bottles with water and freeze them to keep the freezer full in case of an outage.
- If the freezer has been out for a while and food still has ice crystals on it or is still at 40 degrees or below it can be cooked or re-frozen.
- Seafood will be the first to thaw, so make sure to keep an eye on it.
- Ground meat spoils before other types of meat. If you have to start cooking meat that has thawed use the ground meats first.
- Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18 cubic foot freezer frozen for two additional days. Make certain never to touch dry ice with bare hands or inhale the fumes.
- You can buy ice and pack it around items in your fridge if the outage is expected to continue.
- If the power outage is very long you might consider putting items in a large cooler with ice. It’s smaller than the refrigerator so it will keep things cooler longer during an outage.
- If it is Winter and the temperature outside is low enough consider storing frozen food in a secured outdoor location during extended power outages. Use your best judgement, of course.
Remember that a power outage isn’t the only thing that can put your fridge or freezer out of commission. Make sure to contact Kitchen Parts Plus for parts and information as soon as you notice any problems with your fridge or freezer. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’ve lost hundreds of dollars in food!