In the event of any power outage, it is important to evaluate the safety of food that is in the refrigerator or freezer. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. This will give information that helps to assess the safety of the food.
- Thermometers are available at grocery stores, hardware stores and kitchen shops.
- Refrigerators should be set at less than 40°F (4°C). During a power outage, the refrigerator will keep food cool approximately 4 - 6 hours if it is unopened.
- Freezers should be set at 0°F (-18°C) or less. During a power outage, the freezer will keep food frozen about 24 hours if half full and 48 hours if full and the door is never opened.
- Plan ahead. Freeze containers of water or gel packs, or know where to purchase block or dry ice to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold longer.
- If possible, transport food to family or friends to refrigerate or freeze.
- If the temperature rises above 40°F (4°C) in your refrigerator or freezer, discard any perishable thawed food that remains at that temperature more than 2 hours.
- Discard any foods that have been contaminated by raw meat juices.
- Vegetables may be refrozen if they still contain ice crystals.
- Acidic fruits, breads, uncooked fruit pies and unfrosted cakes may be refrozen.
- Never refreeze fish, seafood, ground meats, ice cream, cream pies or custard-filled desserts and convenience foods that are labelled to cook from frozen.
- Refreeze meat only if it still contains ice crystals and feels very firm.
- Any foods refrozen may suffer some flavour and texture changes.
In case of an emergency, it is a good idea to have this information easily available. Print off these PDF versions to consult in the event of a power outage: