Health Tip: Is Your Food Still Good After Power Outage?

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- If you lose power, it's a good idea to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food safe, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

A refrigerator will stay cold for about four hours, and a freezer should preserve food for up to 48 hours if they remained closed, the agency says.

Here are the FDA's suggestions for determining if food is safe to eat after a power outage:

  • If the freezer includes a thermometer, check the temperature when the power comes back on. It is safe to refreeze food if the thermometer reads 40 degrees F or below.
  • If there's no thermometer in the freezer, check each package. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 degrees F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook. Don't rely on appearance or odor.
  • Refrigerated food is generally safe as long as the power was not out for more than four hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut.

Last Updated: