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10 Ways to Keep Your Food Fresh During a Spring Power Outage

Food in the freezer

Spring has officially arrived here in Buffalo and Rochester – time to break out your propane grill and start thinking about all the warm weather activities you have patiently waited for during our winter hibernation period.

But spring can also bring some wicked weather and power outages our way – outages that can easily spoil several hundred dollars worth of food if we’re not properly prepared.

The good news is that if you act quickly, you can keep your food fresh for as long as possible. Here are 10 pointers courtesy of Food Safety News that will help you keep your food safe to eat during a springtime power outage:

  1. Keep thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure that temperatures remain food safe during a power outage (40 degrees F or lower in the refrigerator, 0 degrees F or lower in the freezer).
  2. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. Use them to fit in around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold.
  3. Freeze leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  4. Purchase dry ice – at -109 degrees F, dry ice can temporarily replace the cooling power of a refrigerator or freezer. During a power outage, place dry ice on the top shelf of the freezer and the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days. Always follow dry ice safe handling practices!
  5. Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours (dry ice can be used here, too – just keep in mind that your food will remain frozen).
  6. Group foods together in the freezer to help the food stay cold longer.
  7. Avoid putting food outside in ice or snow; it will attract animals and pests.
  8. Keep ready-to-eat foods on hand that do not require cooking or cooling.
  9. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
  10. Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross-contamination of thawing juices.

To learn more about emergency food safety, visit the United States Department of Agriculture website.

Be prepared for a spring power outage with dry ice from Irish Carbonic – available as blocks, rice, or pellets. We have plenty on hand to keep your food fresh for days – contact us today to learn more.

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