If you have a lot of food in your refrigerator and freezer that you do not wish to lose due to a malfunction with your appliances or a power outage, you will want to take safety precautions to keep it fresh. Power outages can happen at any time, so you want to make sure you are prepared in advance in case one were to occur. Here are some tips for you to use to help you salvage any cold food items that you are storing.
Keep Everything Shut
When the power goes out, do not open your refrigerator or freezer until electricity is restored. Opening the door will let out some of the cool air, making the cooling feature go away much faster. Use dry foods until power goes back on. If the power is only out for a few hours, things inside your refrigerator should still be cool enough to be considered fresh.
Anything over 3-4 hours will start to be suspect, and you may want to consider throwing away things you think may have compromised the contents, such as milk, butter or yogurt. Frozen items will last a few hours longer if the door is kept closed.
Invest In A Generator
If you were to have a generator available to handle power outage situations, you would not need to worry about losing any of the food items you keep cool. You would need to hook the generator up to a control panel that has the refrigerator and freezer hooked up to the system. If the power goes out, you would need to start-up your generator and flip the switch to be able to gain temporary power to cool your food.
Use Dry Ice
Dry ice (obtained through outlets such as Chilly Willy & Cool Carl's Ice) can be used if you know the power will be out for an extended period. If you know your refrigerator has malfunctioned and you cannot get a part to repair it for several days, dry ice may help you keep your food cool while you are waiting. You will need to use a ten pound piece of dry ice for every 12-24 hours that your refrigerator is down. Place a layer of newsprint on your bottom shelf and set the dry ice on top of it. Never touch dry ice without wearing gloves, as the temperatures are extremely cold and you could cause damage to your skin if it is left unexposed when handing it.