Nearly every household now has a fridge and a freezer to keep food fresh for longer, which has consequently given rise to the culture of buying in bulk.
People now prefer going for weekly grocery rounds, relying on their trusted refrigerators to lengthen the lives of fresh produce and meat. There is also a rising trend of buying semi-cooked instant frozen food, which can be readily baked or microwaved.
Unfortunately, the technology of freezer and fridges is susceptible to doom due to power shortage. Normally, food in the refrigerator will outlast 4 hours of power failure, whereas food in the freezer can stay frozen for about 2 whole days, according to Tamika Sims, Ph.D., director of food technology communications at the International Food Information Council.
However, Slims advises against constantly opening and peeping in the freezer to check the state of your stored items because this will result in a rapid rise in the freezer’s temperature and cause the contained items to thaw even more quickly.
Has Your Food Outlasted the Power Shortage?
Dr. Slims revealed that a refrigerator can only preserve things at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas a freezer normally operates below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, you should use an appliance thermometer to gauge whether your refrigerator and freezer have held onto these temperatures during a power failure or refrigerator breakdown. If yes, your food can be marked as safe for consumption.
Unfortunately, if the temperature of the refrigerator soars above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the likelihood is that your meat, leftover food, and dairy products will spoil after two hours.
For a more precise check, use a food thermometer to determine the internal temperature of your food and see if it has sustained a lower temperature and has not warmed up enough to support active bacteria culture. If you’re even slightly doubtful, it’s better to lean on the side of safety and dispose of it because spoilt food can often cause food poisoning.
How to make your food last longer despite a power failure?
Insert big blocks of ice into your freezer to help it retain a lower temperature. Likewise, you can also store your food in an icebox. Storing your food out in the open, even in cold weather, is a risky move since you never know when the sun can shine upon your food and make the temperature vary enough to make it hospitable for bacterial invasion.