Toss it or keep it: What to do with food when the power goes out

Food can sit in a refrigerator without power for about four hours before there is danger of spoilage, freezer food can last about 24 hours.

Food can last for just a few hours when the power goes out.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – When there’s a power outage, it doesn’t take long for refrigerated food to spoil.

Food can sit in a refrigerator without power for about four hours before there is danger of spoilage, freezer food can last about 24 hours.

Items such as milk and raw meat will spoil quicker than other foods.

Lindsay Malone, registered dietician, said a good rule of thumb is “when it doubt, throw it out.”

“Some people will experience some mild symptoms like nausea and vomiting. But in more severe cases if bacteria has been growing for a while, or if you have someone with a sensitive or compromised immune system, the effects could be more severe,” Malone said.

If there is the possibility that the power will be out of an extended length of time, refrigerated foods should be transferred to a cooler with ice.

Additional information on food spoilage and specific food items can be found at www.foodsafety.gov.

 

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