Living in Michigan is great until Mother Nature decides to have a little weather outburst with strong winds or heavy snow and ice that knocks out the power.

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When that happens everything inside your fridge and freezer is on a countdown clock to become spoiled and unsafe to eat.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidelines on food safety during power outages, helping us make informed decisions to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Your Guide To Popular Foods And How Long They Last In A Power Outage

Perishable Foods In The Fridge

In the event of a power outage, the CDC advises that these foods should be kept at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or lower to prevent bacterial growth.

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Meat and Poultry: In a refrigerator without power, they can stay safe for up to four hours. If the temperature rises above 40°F during this time, it's essential to discard them.

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Seafood: Seafood, like fish and shellfish, also has a four-hour limit for safe refrigeration during a power outage. If the temperature exceeds 40°F, it's best to err on the side of caution and dispose of these items.

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Dairy Products: Milk, yogurt, and cheese can last up to four hours without power, provided the refrigerator remains below 40°F. After this time frame, it's safer to discard them.

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Eggs: Raw eggs, whether in the shell or cracked, should be consumed or discarded within four hours of a power outage if the refrigerator temperature rises above 40°F.

Non-Perishable Foods In The Fridge

Non-perishable foods have a longer shelf life. The CDC recommends keeping the refrigerator door closed as much as possible to help maintain a lower temperature.

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Condiments and Sauces: Condiments and sauces, such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, can be safely kept in the fridge for several hours without power. However, it's essential to check for signs of spoilage, like an off smell or changes in color or texture, before consuming.

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Fruits and Vegetables: Whole fruits and vegetables can tolerate a power outage better than their perishable counterparts. As long as they appear fresh and show no signs of spoilage, they can be consumed after the power is restored.

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Pickled Foods: Pickles, olives, and other pickled items have a longer shelf life and can endure a power outage without significant concerns. Check for any changes in appearance or odor before consuming.

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Frozen Foods: When it comes to frozen foods, the CDC suggests that a full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. It's crucial to keep the freezer door closed to maintain a lower temperature for as long as possible.

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Meat, Poultry, and Seafood: If these items still contain ice crystals or are at a temperature of 40°F or lower, they can be refrozen safely. However, it's advisable to discard items that show signs of thawing or have reached higher temperatures.

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Frozen Vegetables and Fruits: Similar to meat and seafood, frozen fruits and vegetables can be refrozen if they still have ice crystals and are below 40°F.

Losing a fridge and freezer full of food is expensive and frustrating but it's best to use caution and toss out questionable items so you don't get yourself or a loved one sick.

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