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Freezer/Refrigerator safety after a power outage

From Dylan Gentry, County Extension Agent
Adair County Extension Office

Many in our area are still without power from Friday's storm. If you have questions about the food in your fridge/freezer still being safe, follow these helpful tips from the USDA.

Generally, frozen food in a full refrigerator freezer or chest freezer will keep for about two days if the power goes out and you do not open the door. It is important to note if the freezer is only half full, the food will only keep for one day without power. Refrigerated food will keep about four to six hours with no power. Opening the refrigerator or freezer doors lessens the time the food will safely keep.

Once the power returns, frozen food that has ice crystals or feels refrigerator-cold can be refrozen, but it may lose its nutrient content, color, texture and flavor. Cook food that is completely thawed but cold within 24 hours. Discard food with a strange odor or color or food that is thawed and has risen above room temperature for two hours or more.

Never taste questionable food. If you have doubts about whether it is safe to eat, it is better to throw it out than risk a food-borne illness.

For a list of specific foods and temperatures, download the Refrigerated Food During Power Outage Safety Chart (PDF) from

More information on food safety is available at the Adair County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

This story was posted on 2023-03-06 11:00:50
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