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Wellness

Do You Know What Food Items To Throw Out After A Power Outage?

Keep food safety a priority in times of natural disasters

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Photography: Michael Angelo Chua (Main Photo)

Typhoons regularly visit our country, and in occasions like these, making sure that we have enough food supplies inside our own homes is highly important.

But natural disasters like these inevitably bring the risk of power interruption (brownouts) at home, which means that the shelf life of food items we may be keeping in our refs may be affected. Do you know which items you can keep and which you should throw away?


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It is important to always be prepared for power outages, which can happen not only during typhoon season but whenever events involving maintenance or even construction occur. Part of this preparation is ensuring that your refrigerator is set to the ideal temperature, which is 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. During a power outage, keep track of how long the electricity is out and keep the refrigerator door closed. Don’t forget that full refrigerators stay colder longer than empty ones.

Likewise, your freezer must also be kept at an ideal temperature, which is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that a fully-stocked fridge will stay cold for 48 hours without electricity, while a half-full freezer will only retain its temperature for 24 hours. When the electricity returns, check if your food products still have ice crystals. If they do, you may return them to your freezer.


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If the power outage takes less than four hours, food stored in the refrigerator can still be consumable. However, if the electricity is out for longer than that, you will have to throw out some items you may be keeping inside your fridge. These are some of the items you should throw away:

  • Soups and stews
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood (cooked, uncooked, or foods containing these)
  • Soft, shredded, or low-fat cheese
  • Milk, cream, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk
  • Eggs (cooked, uncooked, or foods containing these)
  • Cut fruit
  • Fish sauce, creamy dressings, spaghetti sauce, mayonnaise
  • Fresh pasta and salads
  • Cooked vegetables


Meanwhile, these are the food items you can keep:

  • Processed or grated hard cheeses (like Parmesan)
  • Butter and margarine
  • Fruit juice, canned fruit, whole fruits, dried fruits
  • Jams, jellies, ketchup, vinegar-based dressings, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce
  • Bread, rolls, cakes, and muffins
  • Raw vegetables


Source: Apartment Therapy

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