Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee

This site was created in cooperation with the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee, and is supported by funding from the Department of Homeland Security.

 

Food Safety in Power Outages

Remember —
When in doubt, throw it out!

Food safety is extremely important to your family’s health anytime, but especially during a power outage. The following guidelines outline what you can do to keep your refrigerated and frozen foods safe and how to tell when the food is no longer safe to eat.

How long will food remain safe without power?

A full freezer will stay frozen for about two days, and a half-full freezer will stay frozen about one day. Remember to keep the freezer door closed as much as possible to conserve the cold. If your power is expected to remain off longer than one to two days, try to locate dry or block ice to place in your freezer. Place block ice in a container in the freezer’s compartment that will contain any water as it melts.  Dry ice can keep food frozen for two to four days depending on conditions.

Refrigerated foods should be safe if power is not out more than four hours.

What if the power is out longer?

In the event that you are unable to take these precautions, here are some guidelines to insure that the food you have is safe for consumption.

Handling dry ice