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Power outage: What to do with the food in your fridge or freezer?

In the event of a power outage, you don’t necessarily need to throw out all the food stored in the refrigerator and freezer, but you do need to remain vigilant.

The power is likely to be cut in January. When the power goes out, this is often the first question we ask ourselves: should we throw away the food stored in the fridge and freezer? Some explanations.

  • What should I do in case of a power outage?

Your first instinct, if the power goes out, should be to avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer door. If the door is left closed, a fridge can keep food cold for four to six hours, depending on how much food is inside: the less full it is, the faster it will heat up. The freezer can stay at the right temperature for 24 hours if it is half full and 48 hours if it is full. Appliances can be covered with thick blankets to further insulate them.

Attention, these durations are indicative: it is best to consult the instructions for use of the device, the performance varies according to the brands and models. The temperature of the room in which the device is stored will also affect storage conditions. You should also be wary of the “ice cube compartment” (often called the “freezer”) that can be found inside some refrigerators: frozen food can’t be kept in there for more than a few hours.

  • And when the power comes back?

It’s automatic: when the power comes back on, don’t immediately open the freezer or fridge door! This would risk bringing in hot air, especially since these devices need time to recreate the cold and function normally again. Ideally, if possible, you should clean your freezer and fridge before refilling them to eliminate any bacteria that may have proliferated during the power outage.

Then it’s time for a careful inspection of the preserved products. You don’t necessarily have to throw out all your food after a few hours of power outage, but you do need to remain vigilant and monitor fragile foods to avoid food poisoning. At first glance, it is best to trust your eyesight and your sense of smell: you must get rid of everything that no longer looks good or smells bad. At the slightest doubt, to the garbage.

  • What foods should you keep in mind in the fridge?

If it does not appear to have deteriorated and does not smell bad, a certain number of foods can be put back in the fridge, this is obviously only valid if the cut lasts only a few hours. These include hard cheeses, butter, margarine, unopened yogurts (and if they do not contain cream), eggs, whole fresh fruits and vegetables, jam, pasteurized fruit juice, unopened pasteurized milk, or even sauce. tomatoes. and mayonnaise bought in supermarkets.

All other foods can pose a dietary risk, especially if the power outage lasts more than a few hours. These include meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, soft cheeses, fresh cream, raw and open pasteurized milk, open yogurts, ready meals, egg dishes, fresh and cut fruits and vegetables, cooked fruits and vegetables, or even fruit juices. fresh. Feel free to pull if necessary.

  • What foods should you keep in mind in the freezer?

In the freezer, it is necessary to monitor the frozen state of dishes and food. If they are still frozen or partially frozen (covered with frost), they can be placed back in the freezer, as long as the center of the plate or food is still hard. If they have thawed but are still below 4°C, they can still be stored as long as they are cooked immediately and eaten immediately. If they are thawed but their temperature is above 4°C, they should be discarded.

Once again: it is better to get rid of it at the slightest doubt. Unlike the refrigerator, you can’t rely on appearance or smell to tell if they’re still safe consumables. In particular, you should be on the lookout for fragile foods like meat, fish, shellfish, dairy, ready meals (especially those containing eggs and cream) or even ice cream.

In case of absence, how do I know if there has been a power outage?

Just pour ice cubes into a glass and then place in the freezer. If there has been a long power outage, the ice cubes will have changed in appearance or have completely melted to the bottom of the glass.

Author: bruno jeremy
Source: BFM TV

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