Know the proper food security precautions to take it before, during, and after a power outage.

You are watching: Food in freezer during power outage

Emergencies deserve to happen, particularly with extreme weather conditions. When they do, the best strategy is to already have a arrangement in place. This consists of knowing the appropriate food safety precautions to take it before, during, and also after a strength outage — and also being prepared to safely take care of food and water in the event that flooding occurs.

Note: Your neighborhood officials will educate you of any type of evacuations or says of emergency.

Return come the protect Food and also Water throughout Storms main Page


Prepare Yourself prior to Power Emergencies

Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer.Check to ensure the the freezer temperature is at or listed below 0° F, and the refrigerator is at or listed below 40° F.In instance of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you identify if the food is safe.Freeze containers the water for ice to aid keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in situation the strength goes out. If your normal water supply is contaminated or unavailable, the melting ice cream will likewise supply drink water.Freeze refrigerated items such together leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and also poultry that you might not require immediately. This helps save them in ~ a for sure temperature longer.Group food together in the freezer. This help the food remain cold longer.Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will certainly be out for more than 4 hours.Purchase or make ice cubes in advance, and also freeze gel packs ahead of time. Store every one of these in the freezer for future usage in the frozen refrigerator or in coolers.Check out local sources to recognize where dry ice and also block ice have the right to be purchased, in case it have to be needed.Store food top top shelves that will be safely out of the method of contaminated water in situation of flooding.Make certain to have a supply that bottled water stored wherein it will be as safe as possible from flooding. If her bottled water has an odor, carry out not drink or use it. Instead, dispose the it, or if applicable, contact your bottled water provider to make arrangements to acquire a replacement.

During one emergency, if you use food or beverage containers to organize non-food substances favor gasoline, dispose of castle after use and also do not recycle them.

Power Outages: during and After

When the strength Goes the end . . .

Here are straightforward tips for keeping food safe:

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.The refrigerator will store food cold for around 4 hours if that is unopened.A full freezer will save the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hrs if the is fifty percent full) if the door remains closed.Buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible if the strength is going to be the end for a lengthy period that time. Fifty pounds of dried ice have to keep an 18 cubic foot, totally stocked freezer cold for 2 days.If you setup to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish, or egg while they space still at for sure temperatures, that is necessary that every item is thoroughly cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature come ensure that any type of foodborne bacteria that might be present are destroyed. However, if in ~ any allude the food was above 40º F because that 2 hrs or an ext (or 1 hour if temperature are over 90 º F) — discard it.

Once power is revitalized . . .

Determine the security of her food:

If an appliance thermometer was preserved in the freezer, check the temperature as soon as the strength comes back on. If the freezer thermometer reads 40° F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen.If a thermometer has actually not been kept in the freezer, check each package the food to identify its safety. Girlfriend can’t count on illustration or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, that is safe to refreeze or cook.If the strength was out for no much more than 4 hours, refrigerated food need to be safe as long as the doors were retained closed. When the power comes earlier on, examine the temperature in the frozen refrigerator or of the food. Discard any kind of perishable food (such together meat, poultry, seafood, milk, eggs, or leftovers) that has been at refrigerator temperatures above 40°F because that 4 hrs or more. Perishable foods with temperature that room 45°F or listed below (measured with a food thermometer) should be safe, yet should be cooked and consumed as soon as possible.

Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and also eggs that are not preserved adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they space thoroughly cooked.

If Flooding Occurs

Keep Water Safe

Follow these actions to save your WATER safe during and after flood conditions.

Only usage water native a safe source because that drinking and also washing or prepare food.Use bottled water that has not to be exposed to overwhelming waters, if the is available.If you don’t have actually bottled water, you need to boil or disinfect water to make it safe. (see measures below)If you have actually a well that has actually been flooded, the water need to be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you doubt that her well might be contaminated, contact your neighborhood or state wellness department or farming extension certified dealer for details advice.

How to cook or Disinfect Water To make It Safe

If the water is cloudy, very first filter it with clean cloths, or allow it to settle and then draw off the clear water for boiling/ disinfecting. Then, follow among these two procedures:


Boiling water will kill most species of disease-causing organisms that may be present.

Boil the water for 1 minute.Let the cool, and store it in clean containers v covers.

Disinfecting through Bleach

Bleach will kill some, however not all, varieties of disease-causing biology that may be in the water.

Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) the unscented family (5.25% concentration) fluid bleach because that each gallon that water.Stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you usage it.Store disinfected water in clean containers through covers.

Keep Food Safe

Follow these actions to save your FOOD for sure during and after overwhelming conditions.

Do not eat any food the may have actually come into call with flood water.Discard any food and also beverage that is no in a waterproof container if over there is any chance that it has come into call with overwhelming water.Food containers that room waterproof include undamaged, commercially prepared foods items in all-metal cans and also “retort pouches” (like flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches).Food containers that room not waterproof incorporate those v screw-caps, snap lids, traction tops, and crimped caps.Also discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and also home canned foodstuffs if they have come in contact with flood water, because they can not be properly cleaned and sanitized.Discard any type of food in damaged cans. Damaged cans are those v swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, substantial deep rusting, or crushing/denting that is severe sufficient to prevent normal stacking or opening through a manual, wheel-type deserve to opener. See box on next page for procedures to clean/save undamaged packages.Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including have the right to openers) v soap and water, using warm water if available. Rinse and also then sanitize castle by boil in clean water or immersing them because that 15 minutes in a systems of 1 tablespoon that unscented household (5.25% concentration) liquid bleach every gallon of water.

How To save Undamaged Food Packages Exposed to flood Water

Undamaged, commercially prepared foodstuffs in all-metal cans and “retort pouches” (like flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) have the right to be conserved if you monitor this procedure.

Remove the labels, if they room the removable kind, since they deserve to harbor dirt and bacteria.Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches through soap and also water, using warm water if that is available.Rinse the cans or retort pouches v water that is for sure for drinking, if available, due to the fact that dirt or residual soap will reduce the performance of chlorine sanitation.Sanitize cans and also retort pouches through immersion in one of the two complying with ways:Place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling because that 2 minutes.Place in a systems of 1 cup (8 oz/250 mL) that unscented household (5.25% concentration) bleach mixed with 5 gallons that water and soak because that 15 minutes.Air dried cans or retort pouches because that a minimum the 1 hour prior to opening or storing.If the labels to be removable, climate re-label your cans or retort pouches, consisting of the expiration date, through a permanent marking pen.

Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches must be provided as quickly as possible thereafter.

Baby Formula Tip

For infants, try to usage prepared, canned infant formula that needs no added water. Otherwise, dilute any kind of concentrated infant formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers v clean drinking water.

See more: Exercises For Teens To Lose Weight Safely? (For Teens) How Can I Lose Weight Safely

About Foodborne Illness

Know the Symptoms

Consuming attention foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 job of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can likewise occur in ~ 20 minute or approximately 6 weeks later. Back most world will recoup from a foodborne condition within a short duration of time, part can build chronic, severe, or also life-threatening health problems.

Foodborne illness can sometimes be confused with various other illnesses the have comparable symptoms. The symptom of foodborne disease can include:

Vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal muscle pain

Take Action

If girlfriend think that you or a family member has actually a foodborne illness, contact your health care provider immediately. Also, report the suspected foodborne condition to in one of two people of these ways:

Contact the customer Complaint Coordinator in her area. Find a coordinator here:

Related Resources

WATCH a video clip on Food Safety throughout Power Outages