Power Outages and Food Safety Tips

  • September 02, 2015

Power out? Keep these tips in mind to keep your food safe.

1. Keep It Closed
Open refrigerator and freezer doors only when you need to. Depending on how hot it is outside, an unopened refrigerator can keep foods cold enough for several hours. Placing blocks of ice inside will help keep food cold longer. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage.

2. Draw the Line at 40 Degrees
Perishable foods should not be held above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 2 hours.

3. Coolers & Ice Chests
If an outage is likely to be longer than 2 hours, refrigerated milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers can also be packed into a cooler surrounded by ice. A separate cooler can be packed with frozen items.

4. Cans & Dry Goods
Shelf-stable foods, such as canned and dry goods and powdered or boxed milk, can be eaten cold or heated on a grill.

5. Leave a Light On
When you go to bed, leave a bedroom light switched on. It will wake you when power returns, so you can check the condition of your food.

6. While You Were Out
If an outage happens while you’re out of the house, try to determine how long it has been out. Check the internal temperature of the food in your refrigerator with a quick-response thermometer; if it is above 40 degrees, throw it out. If power comes back on in less than 24 hours and your freezer is fairly full, your food should be safe. If the refrigerator was out for more than 24 hours, you should get rid of perishables.

You can also use this food chart by FoodSafety.gov as a guide:

Leave a Comment

We welcome your feedback and comments. We ask that you please keep them constructive, civil and respectful. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mother, then there is a good chance it falls outside of our guidelines. Please read our comment policy here.

Comments

Related Stories

Elevators: What to do During an Outage

Elevators: What to do During an Outage

A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Resetting Your Breakers

A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Resetting Your Breakers

Top Stories

Understanding Different Washer-Dryer Settings

Understanding Different Washer-Dryer Settings

What Are Those Balls That Hang on Power Lines?

What Are Those Balls That Hang on Power Lines?

Year-Round Wildfire Threat Remains Strong

Year-Round Wildfire Threat Remains Strong

Edison Energy and its subsidiaries are not the same company as Southern California Edison, the utility, and they are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

© 2018 Edison International

© 2018 Edison International

Download and Use Policy

This Site is owned by Edison International. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the content featured or displayed on this Site, including but not limited to, text, graphics, data, photographic images, moving images, sound, illustrations, computer code, trade marks and logos and the selection and arrangement thereof (referred to in this section as the "Content") is owned by Edison International, its licensors or its third-party image partners and all rights in relation to the Content are reserved. All Content is protected by copyright, trade dress, moral rights, trade mark rights and other laws relating to the protection of intellectual property. You may use the Content for your personal, or news-related, non-commercial use, but you may not otherwise reproduce, modify or in any way commercially exploit the Content.

Accept Decline