Power Out? How Long Will it Take Before Food Goes Bad?
The power has been out for most of us in the Quad Cities for hours now. Now we're all wondering, 'how long will it be before food goes bad in the fridge?'
Not as long as you think.
According to WQAD, a fridge will keep food safe for four hours. You'll have more time with frozen food. If you keep the freezer shut, the FDS says a full freezer will hold it's temp for two days; one day if it's only half full.
Some items won't fare as well. I just went to grab an ice cream sandwich, and it's already turning to mush. But that's ok. Frozen fish, meat and poultry can still be fine after 24 hours. If you plan to eat it, make sure it's cooked completely.
Once the power is back on, toss perishable food that's been at temps above 40 degrees for more than two hours.
If frozen things still have ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below it's safe to refreeze or cook. The FDA says you should not rely on appearance or color. Also, if you're the least bit in doubt, throw it away.
Keep in mind if you eat rank or rotten food, it can give you flu like symptoms including vomiting , diarrhea, abdominal pain or worse.
Here's my advice. Grill what you can and throw it in a cooler along with the ice in your freezer (open and close it quickly). While you're at it, toss in a few beers. Heck, if you haven't cracked open one or two already, go ahead.
This power outage may take awhile.