Should we dispose of the refrigerator food when the electricity goes out?
There are times when there is a sudden power outage or when you need to unplug the refrigerator with a move. In these days when the heat is still hot, I am worried about the food in the refrigerator.
How should I manage the refrigerator food when the electricity goes out?
Recently, a hurricane hit the southern part of the United States, causing a massive power outage. The restoration work is expected to take a lot of time, so it is on the verge of throwing away freezer and refrigerator food.
For this reason, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it is important not to open the freezer and refrigerator doors when the electricity goes out. The explanation is that if the door is not opened, the food can be kept cold for 48 hours in a refrigerator full of food and 24 hours in a refrigerator half full of food. That is, don’t open the door to prevent cold air from escaping.
However, if the blackout is not a problem that will be resolved in a day or two, ice and dry ice should be prepared. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised that dry ice should be kept in the freezer. However, dry ice should not be handled with bare hands and food should not be placed directly on dry ice. If you prepared ice, you can put food on the ice.
More importantly, if there is any suspicious food, it should be thrown away boldly. Usually, two to three hours of power failure does not significantly change the food in the refrigerator or freezer. Therefore, it is usually not a big problem when moving to a nearby place or when there is a short power outage.
However, if the blackout lasted for more than four hours while the outside environment was hot, it would be better to dispose of foods that are prone to bacterial reproduction. These include raw meat, leftover meat, fish, soft cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs, processed meat, sliced fruits and vegetables. It is better to throw away cream form and soup during salad dressing.
Even if it is a food that can be stored for a long time, it is also better to dispose of if there are traces of juice dripping due to melting fish or meat.
There are some foods that you can store more. Foods with high sugar and salt content, such as soy sauce, jam, ketchup, and condiments, can be stored longer because sugar and salt function as preservatives. However, jam can form mold after three to four days, so you must throw it away when you see signs like this.
Butter, margarine, and hard cheese do not need to be thrown away urgently. The same goes for fresh vegetables, fruits and bread. When you put nuts and spices in the refrigerator, you can leave them alone.
If the power is restored, open the refrigerator and freezer door and throw away all spoiled or suspicious food. If these foods smell from the inside of the refrigerator, you should take out ice trays and shelves and wash them and wash them. Wash well with warm water and detergent. Also, clean the inside of the refrigerator, which is difficult to separate, with warm water and baking soda. If the smell still remains, leave the door open for about 15 minutes, mix vinegar and water in the same ratio, wipe it off, and dry it.