Food and electricity outage

Asked December 9, 2013, 12:58 PM EST

How long is food, particularly meat and frozen veggies, good when the electricity has been off in near freezing and below freezing temperatures?

Dallas County Texas

1 Response

The following information comes from the food safety website of the FDA. For more information log onto

When Power Comes Back

  • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
  • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture, or feels warm to the touch.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.
  • With frozen food, check for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
  • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe .

See these charts to help you evaluate specific foods