Blog & Articles - Gibb Insurance

Food Safety During a Power Outage

Food Safety During a Power Outage
Safe food-handling practices are especially important in the event of a power failure. During an outage, a general rule is ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’. Don’t eat any food that you think might be spoiled, and check with your local water supply company to ensure your drinking water is safe. 

In the event of extended power failure, use a fridge thermometer to determine if the internal temperature of your fridge and freezer are safe. Fridges should be set at 4*C. In the event of a power failure, an unopened fridge will keep its temperature for about four hours.

Ice can be added to help keep the fridge cold, longer. Freezers should be set at 0*C. A full freezer will keep food frozen for approximately 48 hours. A freezer that is half-full will keep food frozen for about 24 hours. 

Here are a few additional considerations: 

  • Refrain from opening your fridge and freezer to help them maintain the appropriate temperature.
  • Keep food items on hand that don’t require refrigeration, a non-electric can opener and an alternative cooking source such as a camp stove.
  • Throw away food that has been at room temperature for two or more hours. 
  • Remember that contaminated food may not appear or smell spoiled. 
  • Never eat  food that may have come into contact with: 
    • Animals
    • Toxic substances
    • Flood water
    • Soil or dirt  
In the situation of a power outage and food, it’s best ‘when in doubt, to throw it out’. Although it can be a financial hardship to throw out food, it’s simply not worth your health and safety.