Prepared by Giant Food, Inc., Landover, Maryland, June 1999. Used with permission.
Original content adapted from “Help, Power Outage!” Food News for Consumers,
Summer 1989, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service.
What if I go to bed and the power is still not on? Before you go to bed, pack your perishables into your coolers
if you haven't already done so and put in as much ice as you can. Also, when you go to bed, leave a bedroom light switched on. When the power
goes back on, it will wake you, so you can check the condition of your foods in the freezer. If freezer foods still have ice crystals they can be refrozen.
What if the power goes out while I’m at work or out of the house and it has been more than
a few hours before I get home? Try to determine how long the power has been out. Check the internal temperature of the food in
Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they are
prolonged. Perishable foods should not be held above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours.
If a power outage is 2 hours or less, you need not be concerned,
but how do you save your food when the refrigerator is out for longer times? Being
prepared can help. By planning ahead, you can save your perishables.
Help! The Power
Do not open the
refrigerator or freezer.
Tell your little ones not to open
the door. An unopened refrigerator
will keep foods cold enough for a
couple of hours at least. A freezer
that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer
for 48 hours. (See chart on back for more details.)
If it looks like the power outage will be for more than 2-4 hours,
pack refrigerated milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs,
gravy, stuffing and left-overs into your cooler surrounded
by ice. (See chart on back for more details.)
If it looks like the power outage will be prolonged, prepare a
cooler with ice for your freezer items,
One or more coolers. Inexpensive
styrofoam coolers can do an excellent