A refrigerator or freezer without electricity can’t keep food safe very long. Keep a thermometer in them check them often.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Appliance thermometers. Make sure you keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer. That’s the best way to be sure that your food is safe after a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40 °F or lower in the refrigerator; 0°F or lower in the freezer.
Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers. They are small enough to fit in around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold and won’t make a mess when the ice melts. Don’t fill them too full. Because water expands when it freezes, the bags might split. Make extra ice at home.
Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Dry ice or block ice. Know where you can get them.
Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
Group foods together in the freezer; this helps the food stay cold longer. They form an “igloo” to protect each other.
Don’t put food outdoors in ice or snow because wild animals may be looking for a meal, and when the sun comes out it may warm your food to an unsafe temperature.
Stock up on ready-to-eat foods. Be sure to have a few days’ of foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
A freezer even when there no power with the doors closed can keep food frozen for about two days. If you know that the power will be off longer pack it with some ice (block, bag or dry) will keep it colder longer.
Pack food tightly together to insulate one another. Raw or cooked food can be refrozen if they have ice crystals on them. Food that has been thawed out for more than two hours check your thermometer if it reads above 40 degrees should be discarded .
Refrigerated foods should be good to eat as long as the power hasn’t been off any more than four hours.
Discard any food that has been above 40 degrees for more than two or more hours, any food that has unusual Oder, color or feels warm to the touch discard it.
Most food in your refrigerator should be good after the power is restored, but when in doubt throw it.