Food and power outages
April 26, 2022
Safety for Power Outages
Refrigerated or frozen foods may not
be safe to eat after the loss of power. Find out what you can do to keep food
safe during a power outage, and when you need to throw away food that could
make you sick.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors
closed. If the doors stay closed, food will stay safe for up to:
4 hours in a refrigerator.
48 hours in a full freezer; 24
hours in a half-full freezer.
If the power has been out for 4 hours, and a cooler
and ice are available, put refrigerated perishable foods in the cooler. To
keep them at 40°F or below, add ice or a cold source like frozen gel
You can also put snow in ziplock bags and put in
taste food to determine if it is safe to eat. When in doubt, throw it
Throw out perishable food
in your refrigerator (meat,
fish, cut fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, and leftovers) after 4
hours without power or a cold source like dry ice. Throw out any food
with an unusual odor, color, or texture.
Check temperatures of food
kept in coolers or your
refrigerator with an added cold source. Throw out food above 40°
If you have an appliance thermometer in your
freezer, check to see if it is still at 40 °F or below.
You can safely refreeze or cook
thawed frozen food that still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or
- For more information see: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/food-safety-during-a-power-outage.html