It's the season for stormy weather, which place the electrical power powering your refrigerator in ~ risk. A short power outage lasting minute won't influence the high quality of the food in your fridge or freezer. But what around electrical outages lasting hrs or days—how long does the fridge continue to be cold, and also at what point does bacteria growth become a threat, forcing you come toss the end your perishable food? Here's everything you must know.

You are watching: How long will food in refrigerator last without power

Without power, a frozen fridge will likely remain at a for sure temperature because that up to 4 hours if the door is preserved closed, Tamika Sims, PhD, director of food technology communications in ~ the international Food information Council, speak Food in your freezer stays cold for even longer—about a work if the freezer is half full, and about 48 hours if it’s complete (the much more food there is inside, the an ext cold is retained). 

But don’t it is in tempted to check on your foods items every couple of minutes, together this will accelerate the temperature increase—and as such the spoiling. “It’s crucial to save your refrigerator and also freezer doors closed during power outages to maintain the cold temperature,” Sims says. 

RELATED: This Food Thermometer Ensures your Food hits the Right cooking Temperature to kill Viruses and Bacteria

During a power outage, you can use appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and also freezer to assist determine if your food is safe. “Normally, refrigerator temperature should be 40 levels Fahrenheit or lower, and also the freezer have to be 0 levels Fahrenheit or lower," Sims says. If there’s no a thermometer inside the appliance come gauge temperature, you have the right to use a food thermometer on each item to job-related out if it’s for sure to eat. 

While some foods, like dairy and also meats, can start come look or smell bad, girlfriend can’t constantly rely top top the appearance or smell of a food article to determine its safety. “For items in the freezer come be safe to refreeze or prepare for consumption, lock should have actually an inner temperature listed below 40 degrees Fahrenheit,” Sims says. 

“If meats, eggs, or leftovers have actually been above 40 levels Fahrenheit for more than 2 hours, it’s time to throw them out,” Sims advises. This rapid guide of assorted food groups from, a website native the FDA, CDC, and also other federal agencies, can give you an idea the what to keep and what you should toss. But checking the yes, really temperature of the food in her refrigerator will ultimately tell you what is safe to eat. 

Sims advises always erring on the side of caution. Therefore if you’re unsure about the safety and security of food items that were in your refrigerator or freezer throughout a strength outage—or anytime, for that matter—it’s much better to throw them away and rely on shelf-stable pantry items for your meals.

And to prevent food waste, it’s wise to eat the most perishable items in her refrigerator first, such as leftovers, meat, poultry, and also foods comprise milk, soft cheese, cream, or sour cream, assuming your temperatures suggest they are safe.


power outage food in fridge , exactly how long go a fridge continue to be cold without power , woman in the kitchen in front of the frozen fridge

See more: How Many Voted In 2008 Presidential Election, 2008 Election Turnout Hit 40