Friday, July 29, 2011

A Stockpiler's Worst Nightmare

Earlier this week we had a huge storm here in Western Mass. So huge, that it knocked power out overnight! I can't even tell you the last time our power was out for more than an hour or two. (That's how infrequent it is) So unfortunately, I kept thinking the power would go back on and didn't worry about my fridge - I just kept the doors closed and hoped for the best. Well, 18 hours later I was throwing away a bag full of questionable goods. So I thought I'd share some tips for those of you who might find yourself in the same position:

Special thanks to the CDC for this info!

Food Safety

If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.

If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, follow the guidelines below:

  • For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
  • For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
  • Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

For guidelines on refreezing food when the power comes back on, visit the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s page on Food Safety in an Emergency.

The following resources provide additional information on preparing for emergencies and determining if your food is safe after a power outage:

Have you ever had your power go out for an extended period? What did you do?

0 gave me some sugar: