Don’t let power outages spoil your Thanksgiving


Here's what you need to know about food safety if your fridge and freezer aren't working:

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With high wind causing power outages across central Ohio the day before Thanksgiving, here’s what you need to know about food safety.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours during a power outage. Keeping the door closed as much as possible is advised.

The USDA says refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers should be discarded after 4 hours without power.

A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for approximately 48 hours, 24 hours if it is half full. Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below, however, its quality may suffer. offers the following guide for refrigerated foods:

Type of FoodHeld above 40 °F for more than 2 hours
Meat, poultry, seafood
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood;
soy meat substitutes
Thawing meat or poultryDiscard
Salads: Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg saladDiscard
Gravy, stuffing, brothDiscard
Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beefDiscard
Pizza with any toppingDiscard
Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”Discard
Canned meats and fish, openedDiscard
Casseroles, soups, stewsDiscard
Soft cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso frescoDiscard
Hard cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, RomanoKeep
Processed cheesesKeep
Shredded cheesesDiscard
Low-fat cheesesDiscard
Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)Keep
Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milkDiscard
Butter, margarineKeep
Baby formula, openedDiscard
Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg productsDiscard
Custards and puddings, quicheDiscard
Fresh fruits, cutDiscard
Fresh fruits, uncutKeep
Fruit juices, openedKeep
Canned fruits, openedKeep
Dried fruits, raisins, candied fruits, datesKeep
Sliced or shredded coconutDiscard
Sauces, Spreads, Jams
Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradishDiscard
(if above 50 °F for more than 8 hrs)
Peanut butterKeep
Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, picklesKeep
Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, hoisin saucesKeep
Fish sauces, oyster sauceDiscard
Opened vinegar-based dressingsKeep
Opened creamy-based dressingsDiscard
Spaghetti sauce, openedDiscard
Bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, grains
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillasKeep
Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie doughDiscard
Cooked pasta, rice, potatoesDiscard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigretteDiscard
Fresh pastaDiscard
Breakfast foods: waffles, pancakes, bagelsKeep
Pies and pastry
Cream filled pastriesDiscard
Pies: custard, cheese-filled, or chiffon; quicheDiscard
Fruit piesKeep
Fresh vegetables, cutDiscard
Fresh vegetables, uncutKeep
Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spicesKeep
Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packagedDiscard
Vegetables, cookedDiscard
Tofu, cookedDiscard
Vegetable juice, openedDiscard
Baked potatoesDiscard
Commercial garlic in oilDiscard
Potato saladDiscard
Casseroles, soups, stewsDiscard

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