Power Outage Food Safety Tips
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2005
CONTACT: Communication Office
BURLINGTON - With many Vermonters out of power, the Vermont Department of Health has the following tips about food safety.
About food in a freezer:
- Without power, a full upright or chest freezer will keep everything frozen for about two days. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about one day.
- If power will be coming back on fairly soon, you can make the food last longer by keeping the door shut as much as possible.
- If power will be off for an extended period, if possible, take food to friends’ freezers.
About food in a refrigerator/freezer:
- Without power, the refrigerator section will keep food cool for 4-6 hours depending on the kitchen temperature.
- A full, well-functioning freezer unit should keep food frozen for two days. A half-full freezer unit should keep things frozen for about one day.
- Discard perishable foods like eggs, meat, fish, or milk that has been above 41 degrees for more than four to six hours.
About thawed food:
- Food still containing ice crystals or that feels refrigerator-cold can be refrozen.
- Discard any thawed food that has risen to room temperature and remained there for two hours or more.
- Immediately discard any food with a strange color or odor.
Finally, the best advice is “if in doubt, throw it out.”