During a power outage:
- First, use perishable food from the refrigerator. Perishables should have a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below to be safe to eat. Use food from the freezer after consuming refrigerated food.
- An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours.
- A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full) if the door remains closed.
- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and cover it at all times.
After an outage:
- Throw away any food (particularly meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. If it has been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can quickly grow.
- If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer. If it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can refreeze it.
Sources: American Red Cross