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Food Safety During Power Outages


Below is information from the Ogle County Health Department:

For those jurisdictions that are without power for days, you may want to think about how to dispose of the food in their refrigerators/freezers.  Below is guidance from the CDC on food safety.


  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • If the doors stay closed, food will stay safe for up to:
    • 4 hours in a refrigerator
    • 48 hours in a full freezer; 24 hours in a half-full freezer.
  • If the power has been out for 4 hours, and a cooler and ice are available, put refrigerated perishable foods in the cooler.  To keep them at 40 degrees F or below, add ice or a cold source like frozen gel packs.


  • Never taste food to determine if it is safe to eat.  When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Throw out perishable food in your refrigerator (meat, fish, cut fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, and leftovers) after 4 hours without power or a cold source like dry ice.  Throw out any food with an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • Check temperatures of food kept in coolers or your refrigerator with an added cool source.  Throw out food above 40 degrees F.
  • If you have an appliance thermometer in your freezer, check to see if it is still at 40 degrees F or below.
    • You can safely refreeze or cook thawed frozen food that stll contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees F or below.