Food in your refrigerator and freezer may be unsafe to eat if:
  • The power is off for four hours or more.
  • The temperature inside your refrigerator is at or above 45°F/ 7°C for more than two hours.
Keep the refrigerator and freezer closed
  • Keep the door of your refrigerator/freezer closed during a power outage to keep it cold inside longer.

  • Refrigerated food will be safe for no more than four hours.

  • Freezer full of frozen food will be safe for no more than 48 hours.

  • Freezer half full of frozen food will be safe for no more than 24 hours.

Clean your refrigerator and freezer after a power outage

  • When the power comes back on, clean out your refrigerator and freezer BEFORE you put new food in it.
  • Wash the inside of the refrigerator and freezer with soap and warm water. Next, wipe the insides down with a mild solution of ½ tablespoon bleach in a gallon of water. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors open to air dry.
  • Once dry, close the doors and let it get cold inside the freezer and refrigerator before you fill it with food.
When in doubt, throw it out! Do not eat unsafe food.
  • It can make you sick.

  • You cannot tell if food is safe by the way it looks or smells. 

  • Throw away any unsafe foods.

  • Cooking or reheating food will not make it safe to eat.

Refrigerated foods to throw away:
• Raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood

• Cooked meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and soy meat substitutes or any dishes containing them

• Tuna, shrimp, chicken, ham or egg salads

• Gravy, stuffing, or broth

• All lunchmeat

• Hotdogs, bacon, sausage, dried meats

• Pizza

• Canned meat products that have been opened

• Casseroles, soups, and stews

• Shredded cheeses and low-fat cheeses

• Soft cheeses such as cottage, cream, Monterey jack, ricotta, mozzarella, queso blanco, queso fresco

• Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk that has been opened, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk

• Baby formula that has been opened

• Butter (very low-risk)

• Shell eggs, liquid egg product, egg dishes, hard-cooked eggs, quiche

• Custards and puddings

• Cut fruit

• Unpasteurized fruit juices

• Canned fruits that have been opened

• Fish sauces, oyster sauce

• Creamy salad dressings

• Refrigerator biscuit, roll, and cookie dough

• Cooked pasta, rice, or potatoes

• Pasta salads

• Fresh, uncooked pasta

• Cheesecake or any baked goods with cream or custard fillings and toppings

• Pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged lettuce

• Cooked vegetables

• Tofu

• Vegetable juices that have been opened or are unpasteurized

• Raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood

• Leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and soy meat substitutes or any dishes containing them

• Casseroles, soups, stews

• Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products

• Milk

• Liquid egg products

• Soft and semi-soft cheeses (hard cheeses like cheddar, Swiss, parmesan, Romano, provolone can be refrozen)

• Shredded cheese

• Ice cream and frozen yogurt

• Unpasteurized fruit juices

• Vegetable juices

• Frozen vegetables (both home and commercially packaged

• Cakes, pies, and pastries with custard or cheese filling

• Frozen meal entrees (commercially packaged)

• Frozen pizza

• Breakfast meats (bacon, sausage)

• Convenience foods (frozen meals,sandwiches and snacks)

These lists do NOT include all foods.

If you are not sure about the safety of a specific food not listed here, throw it away or contact the Department of Public Health Food Protection Program to find out if it is safe to keep!

Call (860) 509-7297, dial 2-1-1 or go to

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