Have you ever had a power outage in your home? If so, have you wondered how long the food in your refrigerator and freezer will stay good before the power returns?
I think we’ve all been in that boat at one time or another. Most power outages end between a few hours and a few days after they start.
Regardless, how can you know whether the food in your refrigerator and freezer is still good during or following an outage?
The United States Department of Agriculture offers this guideline. Anything left unrefrigerated for over four hours at temperatures of 40 degrees or higher is at risk of developing food-borne bacteria that could lead to illness.
That’s good information if you know what time your power went out. But what if you come home to find the power is out? How do you know how long it’s been out?
A 25-cent Hack Will Tell You
Here’s a clever hack from cookinglight.com. Put a cup of water in your freezer. Once the water is frozen, place a quarter on top of the ice. Then just leave it there.
If you come home to find that your power is out, check where the quarter is. If it’s still on top, your food is probably safe to consume. But if it has sunk down toward the middle of the cup or lower, your food is probably starting to spoil.
Now, that’s hardly a scientific test. And it’s better to error on the side of caution. But nobody wants to waste food, and that little trick could be helpful in determining how long your power has been out.
Even if your food stays frozen, you don’t want to keep it frozen for too long before eating it. Registered dietician Allison Tepper has offered some tips regarding how long certain foods can maintain their flavor while frozen.
To summarize her thoughts, cooked meats, soups, casseroles, rice and pasta should stay good when frozen for two to three months. Cheese can stay tasty for six months, nuts and herbs for a year, and flour for two years.
Eliminate the Problem
Of course, the best way to keep refrigerated and frozen food good is to keep it cold or frozen. Even during a power outage.
And the best way to do that is to have a fully-charged generator ready to go in case you’re hit with a power outage.
Our solution is the Patriot Power Generator 1500. It’s a portable, solar-powered generator designed to provide electricity for important devices and equipment during a power outage or disaster situation.
It weighs only 38 pounds, so it’s small enough to take anywhere and store discreetly. And you can daisy-chain additional solar panels for even more power and faster charging.
This generator operates quietly and produces no emissions. It can be charged by the solar panel, by plugging into a normal 120V AC wall outlet or by a wind turbine.