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Posted at 4:29 PM ET, 01/27/2011

Keeping food safe when the power's out

By Jennifer LaRue Huget

Is your power out? Here are some tips on keeping your food fresh inside your silent refrigerator.

-- Keep the refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Opening the door lets cold air out and hot air in. (Try to coordinate trips to the fridge with other family members.)

-- If the power is out for two hours or less, the food in both fridge and freezer should be safe to eat.

-- If the power is out for more than two hours, try to move meat, fish, poultry, eggs and other perishable items to an insulated, ice-packed cooler.

-- If your freezer is tightly packed, food should stay safe to eat for 48 hours. If it's only half-full, the food's probably safe for 24 hours.

-- Check every item with a food thermometer just before eating or cooking with it. If it's over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it's not safe. You can't rely on taste, smell or appearance when judging food safety.

-- Once the power is back on, freezer food can be refrozen if it still has ice crystals in it and its temperature is 40 degrees or less.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  | January 27, 2011; 4:29 PM ET
Categories:  Weather  
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Comments

It seems that the most logical thing to do, in the winter, when the power goes out is to take some plastic bags. Fill them with snow. Put it into a cooler and put food in the cooler. If you don't want to do that, just stick the food outside in the snow. That should keep it.

A little common sense goes a long way;.

Posted by: lawkat73 | January 27, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the advice but of course the irony is those who don't have power probably can't read your blog...

Posted by: adcpsteacher | January 27, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

adcpsteacher: Many people have power at work but not at home (myself included, for 38+ hours now). Also, many people have web-accessible phones. I'm very glad I upgraded my phone a few months ago, it's been (possibly quite literally) a lifesaver in this stupid storm.

Posted by: DivineMsK | January 28, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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