How To Keep Food Safe During A Power Outage


Natural disasters like floods, snow and ice storms make it difficult to store the food safely for later use. As soon as the electricity is off, dangerous bacteria slowing keeps lurking in the dark thereby spoiling the food. But storing food and water during emergencies is as much important as turning to safety. Learn how to keep your food safe during power outages with this list of recommendations by the USDA.

Planning Ahead

  • Bring in some appliance thermometers to measure the temperature in your refrigerator during emergency situations to check if the food stored inside is at a desired temperature.
  • Freeze water ahead in small plastic storage bags as these will be handy in keeping the food cold for long hours and also do not make a mess of the fridge even if the ice melts.
  • Freeze food items like leftovers from your previous meals, milk products, meat and poultry which you do not need immediately. This will help in keeping them longer at the desired temperature.
  • Group similar food items together as they will kind of form an igloo and protect each other and protect each other while not losing the temperature during long power cuts.
  • A full fridge will hold the temperature for at least 48 hours and a half fridge will for 24 hours. So store your fridge to full as this will also leave any worries on food supply.
  • Get some dry ice or block ice as this will be helpful in replacing ice if the freezer melts its ice. If you freeze fresh water, these packs will serve as drinking water instead of ingesting flooded water.
  • Have some ready-to-eat foods at hand and make sure they’re enough for at least two days of your food supply. As, they do not need cooling or cooking, you can rely on them during power cuts.

When the Power Goes Out

  • Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible as opening it frequently will decrease the required temperature quickly. A fridge that is unopened will keep the food safe for an additional 4 hours.
  • Use foods from the pantry instead of eating refrigerated and frozen foods. This will ensure that you will have a continuous supply of foods for a day or two when they are mostly needed.

After the Power is Back

Check temperatures inside your refrigerator to see if you can still consume any stored foods. The temperature inside the fridge should be below 40° F, the freezer needs to be at below O° F.

If the temperature is above below 40° F, immediately discard any perishable food items like fish, eggs, meat and poultry as they’ll no longer be fit for consuming.

Check each item separately after them out of the refrigerator and never go by the notion that all similarly grouped food items are safe to eat if one or two are good. If you notice any odour or see that the colour or texture of the food has changed. Simply throw it out. It’s always better to play safe than being sorry.