The blackout may have affected the foods in your refrigerator and freezer. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

Time and temperature abuse is the number one cause for bacteria growth and food borne illnesses. Here are some guidelines to follow:


Cold foods such as potato salad, macaroni salad must be thrown out after 6 hours. Proteins such as chicken, steak, pork must be thrown out after 4 hours. Butter and eggs can be stored at room temperature, so they should be ok. Condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, pickles etc can be stored at room temperature, so they too should be ok.


Food stored in the freezer that was kept at 40 °F or below may be refrozen. If you’re not sure of the temperature of the freezer, check each food item individually. If the food still contains ice crystals it is safe to refreeze. Remember you can’t rely on appearance and odor, so play it safe!

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