Before, during and after your power goes out

Unfortunately, power outages do occur from time to time. It’s important to know how to keep your food safe during an outage. Use these tips from USDA to help minimize food loss and reduce your risk of illness.

Before a power outage

  • Keep refrigerator at 40° or below. Freeze items like fresh meat and poultry that you won’t use immediately.
  • Keep freezer set to 0° or below. Group frozen foods to help items stay colder longer.
  • If you anticipate an extended power outage, buy dry or block ice to keep the fridge and/or freezer cold.

During a power outage

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed!
  • If the doors stay closed during the length of the outage:
    • A full freezer will hold its temperature for 48 hours.
    • A refrigerator will keep food safe for four hours.

After a power outage

  • Check the temperature inside your refrigerator and/or freezer.
  • If the temperatures are safe, the food should be safe to eat.


Power Outage Food Throw Away Safety

Know what to throw

Keep in mind these foods that should be thrown out after an extended power outage.

  • Meat, poultry or seafood products
  • Milk, yogurt and other dairy products
  • Cooked or sliced produce
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Soft and shredded cheese
  • Opened baby formula
  • Dough and cooked pasta