Here's What Foods You Should Toss Out After A Power Outage

By Anna Gallegos

February 18, 2021

As power is slowly restored to all of Texas, now is a good time to clean out your fridge and freezer.

Knowing what is or isn't safe to eat after a power outage can save you time, money, and from a potential case of food poisoning.

The CDC also advises people not to taste test food to determine their safety. Foods with a strong odor, strange color or texture, or feel warm should be trashed. When it doubt, throw it out.

Most fridges will keep food fresh for up to 4 hours without power. After that perishable foods in the fridge should be thrown away. That includes

  • Raw meat, pork, chicken or seafood
  • Lunch meat, hot dogs, and bacon
  • Soft cheeses
  • Shredded cheese
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cut fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Cooked pasta
  • Tofu
  • Prepackaged greens and salads

A complete list can be found at

Food in the freezer can last longer without electricity, but it depends on how full your freezer is. A full freezer can keep food cold for up to 48 hours, while a half full freezer can keep food for 24 hours after losing power.

Most foods should be thrown out if the temperature inside your freezer was higher than 40° F. However, some foods can be refrozen if they have ice crystals or the temperature feels cold like they've been in the fridge.

Photo: Getty Images

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