Mortgage and Lending with Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 NMLS # 6869

“Food, When the Power is Out”

Unfortunately, not everyone has a generator to be able to avoid the loss of food.

Last year a friend of mine, lost power and was out for a couple of days. About a week later two of the kids had to be taken to the hospital with severe stomach cramps. Their stomachs had to be pumped.

It turns out it was as a result of food that was re-frozen after the power outage. Apparently, the food was cooked, but not completely and the bacteria caused the problem for the kids.

They all considered themselves very fortunate and they know, it could have been much worse.

When I read the article below, I wanted to make sure it had some exposure.  

 Power outages and food

No Power? Some Foods OK to Keep

By: Susan M. Selasky


Recent power outages, coupled with the extreme heat, prompted several reader calls to the Free Press Test Kitchen about whether food in refrigerators and freezers was safe to keep.

If your power was out just a few hours and you didn’t open the refrigerator or freezer, chances are the food is OK. A refrigerator should keep food cold for four hours and a half-full freezer 24 hours (48 hours if the freezer is full) if you don’t open the doors, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Here’s a clip-and-save checklist gleaned from to have handy next time the power goes out.

  • Try not to open the refrigerator and freezer doors (doing so lets the cold air escape).
  • If you know the power will be out for an extended period, get ice or dry ice to keep foods cold.
  • Use a refrigerator-freezer thermometer to check the temperature.
  • In either the refrigerator or freezer, if the temperature is 40 degrees or below, the food is safe.
  • Check the packages. If food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below when checked with a food thermometer, you can refreeze it.
  • Group foods together in the freezer to help them stay cold longer.
  • Keep food on ice in coolers.
  • Never taste food to determine whether it’s safe.

Foods to Toss

Bacteria growth can take place in these foods that have been above 40 degrees for two hours or more:

  • Meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, yogurt, eggs, leftovers, hot dogs, bacon, lunch meats, pizza, shredded cheeses, casseroles, pasta and pasta sauces.
  • Cream-based salad dressings, sauces and soups.
  • Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce and horseradish.
  • Pasta salads with creamy or mayonnaise-based dressings.
  • Sour cream-based dips.
  • Fruits and vegetables that have become slimy or spoiled.

Foods to Keep

  • Condiments, such as ketchup, mustard, jelly, jams, soy sauce and bottled marinade. Typically these have high salt and sugar content that can act as a preservative.
  • Fresh bread and rolls.
  • Fruits and vegetables that show no signs of decay.

The best rule to follow: “When in doubt, throw it out.”


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294


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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 07/29/2012 02:05 PM
ActiveRain Community
power outages

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Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Just toss it, weep, get over it.  It can be replaced, you and your family can't be!

Sue of Robin and Sue

Jul 28, 2012 08:29 AM #6
Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!

Its always better to err on the side of caution rather than risk getting a raging case of food poisoning.

Jul 28, 2012 10:21 AM #7
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Joe, This is very good information and pertinent to our hot weather temperatures and thunderstorm power outages.

Jul 28, 2012 12:14 PM #8
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Joe, I was just Googling this week about refreezing something.  This is good information for us to keep handy. 

Jul 28, 2012 01:26 PM #9
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

  Thanks for the Ah-ha moment!
Featured you in my Weekly Post!

Jul 28, 2012 08:31 PM #10
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Joe.  I missed this one.  Kathy's weekly post brought me here.  Great info about bad food.

Jul 28, 2012 09:12 PM #11
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Joe - So sorry to hear about your friend's family, but glad they are okay.  This is a helpful list.  I'd rather be safe than sorry too.

Jul 28, 2012 09:25 PM #12
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Joe - this is an excellent post that ALL of us need/must pay attention to today. Thanks for sharing.

Jul 29, 2012 12:05 AM #13
David Grbich
Realty One Group - - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Better safe than sorry - thanks for sharing. Regards Dave

Jul 29, 2012 12:16 AM #14
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

I am with the toss it out folks above. Why take a chance?

Jul 29, 2012 12:43 AM #15
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Very good advice, indeed. The most important thing is to just not open the fridge or freezer, even once. Our freezer keeps things frozen for a good four days if you don't open it, so in our outage in January we didn't lose a thing there. We even bought food to eat during the outage instead of getting food out of the fridge or freezer. Love the "when in doubt, throw it out". So true.


Jul 29, 2012 02:07 AM #16
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Joe,

Absolutely the best advice..not worth it to take a chance! Food poisoning is not fun!!

Jul 29, 2012 02:57 AM #17
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Joe, this is a good list to keep. Aside from the possible dangers of eating spoiled food, it also "looks" very unappetizing.

Jul 29, 2012 05:06 AM #18
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Great post.  I don't have a generator and we've been looking to get one.  I put up a freezer full of veggies this summer and it would just break my heart to loose them.

Jul 29, 2012 06:33 AM #19
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Great advice for everyone. Thank you for sharing!

Jul 29, 2012 06:40 AM #20
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

A good opportunity for a complete cleaning of the refrigerator!  I have started a new routine at my house....whenever we finish a milk or juice carton we fill it with water and freeze.  If the power goes out we will have blocks of ice.

Jul 29, 2012 09:12 AM #21
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Thanks to Kathy for pointing me to this timely post about which food to toss in case of power outages.


Jul 29, 2012 10:21 AM #22
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Better safe than sorry, is always the best plan of action. This is very helpful information.

Jul 29, 2012 11:53 AM #23
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
This looks like a good reblog plus wise words to remember. We have lots of outages.
Jul 29, 2012 01:50 PM #24
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

I'm one of the lucky ones with a generator backup, however I would not take a chance with food being defrosted under any conditions

Jul 29, 2012 02:06 PM #25
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