How to Avoid Food Contamination without a Fridge
Keeping food safe during a power outage is about being prepared. If there’s a major storm headed to your neighborhood, you need to take certain precautions to avoid getting stuck with a fridge full of rotten food. Losing all that food isn’t just about wasting money; it’s about protecting your family from harmful bacteria and pathogens. Prevent a worst-case scenario and use these tips to keep your family’s food as fresh as possible.
Prepare for a Major Power Outage
Sometimes it’s impossible to predict the weather or when your fridge is going to fail. But if you have a warning such as a major storm, you can make a few preparations ahead of time. Start by making sure that you have a working, accurate thermostat in your refrigerator and freezer. If you’re not sure if your thermostat is accurate, leave a new one in the fridge and then compare the readings. Your goal is to keep the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer at 0 degrees or below. The next step is to fill plastic bags with water and keep them on hand in case you need to keep certain foods cold while the power is out. If you have ice packs or freezer packs, keep those cold as well. You should also have a store in mind that’s nearby in case you need to run out and buy ice.
What to Do When You Lose the Fridge
Whether you’re facing a power outage from a storm or your fridge bites the dust, you need to act fast if your fridge is no longer working correctly. Keep the doors on the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible. If you need to reach in and grab something, think carefully about what you need and where to find it. Your fridge will maintain its current temperature for about 4 hours. Your freezer should stay frozen for about 48 hours if it’s full of food. It will only last for about 24 hours if it’s half-full. If the temperature starts to drop, you can add bags of ice from a local store. Stuff the ice around sensitive items like meat and produce. You can also bundle items around or on top of each other to help them maintain their current temperature.
To prevent cross-contamination, place any meat in separate plastic bags and place them on one side of the fridge or freezer. If any juices from the meat start to leak out, you’re better off throwing the meat out rather than exposing your sanitary food to harmful contaminants.
When you finally get the fridge working again, be cautious when deciding which foods to keep and which to throw out. If you’re not sure, don’t take a risk. Be safe and toss it in the trash.
If your family’s fridge or freezer is on its last leg, contact Absolute Appliances Repair for appliance repair in San Francisco, San Rafael, Mill Valley or Marin County.