Preserving food during a power outage: See what the CDC recommends

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — When faced with the potential for a power outage like this weekend, it is important to consider different ways to preserve food.

When anticipating a power outage, the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention recommends putting an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer.

The refrigerator should be kept at 40 degrees or below. The freezer should be kept at 0 degrees or below.

Further, the CDC recommends having a cooler and frozen gel packs prepared. If the power may be out for a long time, you can also buy dry ice or block ice to put in the refrigerator.

During a power outage, the CDC urges people to keep their refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If the doors remain closed during an outage, food will stay safe for up to four hours in the refrigerator.

If the power has been out for over four hours, the CDC recommends putting refrigerated perishables in a cooler with dry ice.

Food will stay safe for 48 hours in a full freezer and 24 hours in a half-full freezer.

“Never taste food to determine if it is safe to eat,” the CDC said. “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Toss food that has been left in the refrigerator for four hours without power or a cold source.

Any food with an unusual color, odor, or texture should be thrown out immediately.

After an outage, check the temperature of your refrigerated food. Throw out anything over 40 degrees.

The CDC also said you can safely refreeze or cook thawed frozen food that still has ice crystals or is under 40 degrees.

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