How to keep your food from going bad during a power outage

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If your power is still out, you might be wondering how you can keep the food in your fridge from going bad.

The Niagara County Department of Health says that if the power is out for more than two hours, the food in your fridge or freezer might not be safe to eat.

“If in doubt, throw it out,” the department says.

Here are some steps they provided to ensure that your food stays safe to eat:

  • Fill a cooler with freeze packs or ice made from drinking water to help keep food cold.
  • Use a bowl packed with snow to keep food cold, but do not contaminate the food with snow.
  • Use dry ice or salted ice to maintain the temperature of frozen foods.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as often as possible.
  • Test food temperatures with a metal-stem meat thermometer.

Some foods that might need to be thrown out are eggs, milk, meats, poultry, seafood, cooked leftovers, gravies, soups or products containing those things. They should be tossed if their temperature reaches higher than 50 degrees.

Foods like fruits, juices, vegetables, cheeses and condiments can be stored above that temperature for a long time, but should be checked to make sure they still appear safe. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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