How Long Food Really Lasts In A Fridge Without Power
By David Tran
As a power outage can last from a couple of hours to several days, it’s important to know what to do with your food when your fridge loses power. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bacteria can grow between temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and eating food within this danger zone can lead to food poisoning or infections like salmonella.
Food is safe in the fridge for up to four hours without power, but after this period, you should throw away all perishable food like meat, fish, fruit, veggies, eggs, and milk. Food sitting at a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours usually needs to be tossed, except for butter, whole fruits, whole veggies, hard cheeses, and bread products.
The freezer can store food for up to 48 hours with the door closed, but in the meantime, you can fill your fridge with ice to keep it cool; the FDA says, "fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18 cubic foot, fully stocked freezer cold for two days." Another option is to move your food to a cooler packed with gel packs or ice if your fridge hits 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above.