If in doubt, throw it out. Remember, never taste suspicious food.
Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible - this will keep foods cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed. A freezer that is half full will keep the temperature for about 24 hours.
Be sure to keep meat, seafood, and dairy products as cold as possible. Discard any perishable food that has been above 40°F for over two hours.
If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
Generally, the following items can be kept on a countertop:
- Jams and jellies
- Butter and margarine
- Ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish and similar condiments
Fresh uncut fruits and vegetables
- For guidelines on specific foods, visit the FoodSafety.gov website.