Keeping food safe during power outages

Refrigerated items are safe if the power is off for no more than about four hours. If the power has been off for more four hours:
• Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
• Open the refrigerator as little as possible.
• Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that has been held at temperatures above 40°F for more than 2 hours.
• Discard any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
• Discard food in your refrigerator and freezer that looks suspicious, such as the presence of liquid or refrozen meat juices, soft or melted and refrozen ice cream, or unusual odors.

Never taste food to determine its safety. Food unfit for human consumption is also unfit for pets. If in doubt, throw it out.

Additional information about food safety after a power outage, including a chart of specific food items, is available at:


Boulder Office of Emergency Management's photo.