Refrigerator Safety Tips When You Lose Power


Now that hurricane season has officially started, everyone in our area should be prepared for power outages. Losing power is a major inconvenience for everyone, and you never know how long the outage will last. If you have a refrigerator or freezer full of food, you should know how prepare yourself before you lose power.

Gembecki Mechanical Services cares about all of our customers. We understand that power failures can be financially devastating for Orlando residents and business owners. We hope these food and refrigeration safety tips are helpful to our commercial and residential customers.

FDA and Red Cross Refrigeration Safety Tips for Food Safety

The Food and Drug Administration’s Consumer Guide to Food Safety recommends that people prepare for long-term power outages, especially during hurricane season. If you take the time to protect the food in your refrigerator and freezer, you will increase the odds that your perishables will be safe to eat when the power returns.

  • Use appliance thermometers to keep track of the temperature of every refrigerated cooler or freezer. The Red Cross warns that frozen food isn’t safe unless freezers maintain a temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit. Food in refrigerators and coolers isn’t safe to eat if the temperature rises above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. If you don’t have an appliance thermometer, use a food thermometer to test the internal temperature of perishable food.
  • If you know that you’re likely to lose power because of a hurricane, freeze containers of water or fill containers full of ice. You can buy dry ice or blocks of ice to help keep food cold. By adding large blocks or containers of ice to your refrigerator or freezer, you help your device stay colder much longer than it could without the boost it gets from extra ice.
  • If you have leftover meat, poultry and milk, freeze them before you lose power. By freezing these things, you will keep them colder for longer, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be safe to eat when the power returns.
  • Discard any eggs, milk, fish, deli meats, cheeses, poultry, meat or leftovers if they’ve been in a refrigerator without power for more than four hours and the refrigerator hasn’t maintained a temperature below 40 degrees for the entire time.

Make sure your walk-in coolers, freezers and ice machines are in good working order before a hurricane, storm or other situation causes a lengthy power outage. You can count on our Gembecki Refrigeration Services team to adjust your temperature settings and perform any maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about food safety issues during an Orlando summer power outage.

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