Regardless of what the weather is like outside, there’s always a chance that you could lose power for one reason or another. And when this happens, it’s important that you know how a loss of power could affect the food you have stored in your home or business. Especially for people who have a lot of food stored or who sell food for a living, knowing how to keep this food safe and properly use your chiller systems is vital, particularly for those on a tight budget who can’t afford to just replace all of their food.
In case you find yourself in this type of situation, here are three food safety tips for when you don’t have power.
Know What Temperatures You’re Working With
For most people, they don’t actually know what temperature their refrigerators or freezers are set at. As long as they’re doing their job to keep their food cold, they don’t really have to think about the actual temperatures. But when the power goes out and your refrigerator and freezer aren’t able to properly maintain their cold temperatures on their own, you’ll want to know exactly what temperature these appliances are so that you can know if and when you need to start making some adjustments to help keep your food at a safe temperature.
To do this, simply get an appliance thermometer that you can keep in your refrigerator or freezer. Ideally, you don’t want to be opening and closing your refrigerator and freezer a lot so that the cold air can stay in. But when you need to see how things are staying cool, having a thermometer in there will help make things easier to determine.
Keep An Eye On The Clock
For foods that are meant to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, they can safely come up to higher temperatures for a certain period of time. But after that period of time, you’ll either need to refreeze the item or discard them. The trick is keeping track of how long you’ve been without power, how long items in your fridge or freezer have been warming up, and which foods are safe to cool again or refreeze.
In general, if items have been warmer than 40 degrees or have thawed for more than two hours, you’ll want to just throw those items out, as they could be dangerous for people to eat now.
Strategies To Keep Foods Cold
If you notice that your power isn’t coming on and the food you’ve been storing is getting too warm, there are things that you can do to help keep the food cold.
If you live in a place that’s cold outside, putting food outside could help to keep it cooler or keep it frozen, depending on how cold it is outside. Additionally, if you have coolers, you can pack them with ice and frozen foods to help everything stay safely frozen. And for the food that you’re wanting to keep in your fridge or freezer, try to keep those foods close together so that they can continually cool each other.
If you want to make sure that the foods you’re storing are able to stay safe in your fridge or freezer even when you lose power, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you with this.