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Food Safety During a Power Outage

Power’s Out...

Your Freezer

Handling and preparing food is always important in preventing foodborne illness, but a power failure can result in food becoming spoiled due to a lack of refrigeration. Follow these safe food handling tips during a power failure to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

  • A full upright or chest freezer will keep everything frozen for about 2 days.
  • A half-full freezer will keep food frozen 1 day.
  • If power will be coming back on fairly soon, you can make the food last longer by keeping the door shut as much as possible. Ice can keep the freezer cold.
  • If power will be off for a longer time period, take food to friends’ freezers.
  • If raw food has leaked during thawing, clean and disinfect the areas the food has touched. Do not re-use wash cloths until they have been cleaned and disinfected.

Your Refrigerator-Freezer Combination

Without power, the refrigerator section will keep food cool 4-6 hours, depending on the kitchen temperature. Ice can keep food on the refrigerator shelves cooler.

Thawed food? Food still containing ice crystals can be refrozen. Discard any thawed food that has risen to room temperature. Discard anything with a strange colour or odour immediately.

Remember the motto... If in doubt, throw it out!