Updated 07 October 2015

How to keep food safe during a power outage

The US Food Safety Inspection Service offers advice to help keep food safe during a power outage.


One of the first things on your mind after your power goes out is "what happens if my food spoils?"

The US Food Safety Inspection Service offers this advice to help keep food safe during a power outage:

  • Once the power goes out, try not to open the refrigerator or freezer doors, maintaining the cold temperatures as long as possible.

  • An unopened refrigerator can keep your food safe for about four hours. A fully-stocked freezer can keep foods frozen for about 48 hours if unopened.

  • If you expect an extended outage, keep your refrigerator or freezer cold with a block of dry ice.

  • Keep a supply of healthy, non-perishable foods on hand in case of a power outage.

Read More:
Concern over food safety
Food-safety principles for people with HIV
Food safety from farm to table


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