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Power Outage: Is your food still safe to eat?

If your power was out for more than four hours, you need to throw out dairy, meats and eggs for sure.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Depending on how long your power was out, the food in your fridge or freezer could be a total loss.

Check out the CDC guidelines for your freezer and fridge:

*Food kept in a closed fridge should last for about four hours. That's it.
*A full freezer packed with food will hold the temperature and keep food frozen for approximately 48 hours
*A half-full freezer will stay cold enough to keep the food good for 24 hours


From your fridge, if it's past the four hour period, perishable foods like milk, eggs, dairy, lunch meat need to go. You can probably get away with saving a few condiments like ketchup and mustard.

When it comes to your freezer, you know you can eat the food or safely refreeze it if the item still contains ice crystals or is at 40 ̊f or lower.

Some homeowners policies have food line items. You can call your insurance agent. Don't be surprised if you have to pay the deductible first, which might negate the whole claim for you.

One more thing, don't want to rely on the sniff test. Food can develop bacteria that can cause food poisoning before it actually smells bad.

The Guilford County Health Department says the best rule to follow is ‘when in doubt, throw it out’.