If your power goes out, the first thing many people worry about is how long food will last safely in a refrigerator.
- Do not open the fridge or freezer doors. Resist the temptation to “check” because every time you open the door, you are allowing the cooled air to escape.
- When power comes on, immediately switch the thermostat inside the fridge to maximum. With some refrigerators, this will drop the temperature faster.
- Take caution with any raw meat or fish in your refrigerator, as these products will be the first to be affected by the temperature. If in doubt, throw it out.
For the future, consider adding a thermometer inside your fridge. This will help you gauge the temperature inside the fridge when the power comes on, to know if it is in the safe zone.
If you have a planned outage, you can be even more prepared. First, set the thermostat inside the fridge for as cold as it will go. Remove anything you don’t want partially frozen from the air outtage (usually the back of the top shelf).
In the days before the outage, freeze blocks of ice and then transfer them to your fridge right before the scheduled outage. This will help keep the temperature cooler, similarly to how ice works in a cooler.