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Whether you live in an area prone to thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, or any number of natural disasters, when the power goes out, we all have the same questions: how long can we keep the food in the fridge or freezer, and what should we do? we save or pitch after the power is back on?
Here’s a guide to help you monitor and know what to do with food when there’s no electricity.
The right fridge temperature
You need to be prepared for a power outage, including setting the refrigerator to the correct temperature and being able to monitor it even when there is no power. It should be set at 35 to 38°F; it is worth investing in a fridge thermometer so that you always know exactly what the temperature is inside.
How long is refrigerated food safe to eat?
If the power goes out, keep track of how long it goes out. Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible and remember that full refrigerators stay cold longer than empty ones. Food stored in the refrigerator is still safe to eat if the power goes out for no more than four hours, according to FoodSafety.gov.
What happens after four hours?
When these four hours are up and the power is still off, you should start checking the temperature in the refrigerator. Once the temperature reaches 40°F or higher, perishable foods are only good for two hours before you need to pot them up. Here’s what to keep and what to throw away:
The right freezer temperature
As with the refrigerator, there is also an ideal temperature for the freezer. Keep it at 0°F and invest in a freezer thermometer so you can check the temperature.
How long is frozen food safe to eat?
Knowing what to keep in the freezer is a lot easier than in the fridge. Basically, you just want food, of any kind, to stay frozen!