Consumer Articles

What to Do in Case of Power Failure

Date: May 19, 2009

Courtesy of U.S. Cold Storage

  • The freezer compartment should be opened only if absolutely necessary, and then for the shortest possible time.
  • A full freezer will stay at a satisfactory temperature for about two days. However, fewer items mean faster thawing time.
  • Be sure your freezer is plugged in properly. Check to see if a fuse is blown.
  • If the power will be off for several days, purchase dry ice or take frozen foods to a commercial freezer or locker. Use about 25 pounds of dry ice for every 10 cubic feet of space to keep your freezer temperature low for two to four days. Pack newspapers around frozen foods and then add dry ice. Wear gloves when handling the dry ice and use care to avoid freezer burn. Avoid using large quantities of dry ice in poorly ventilated areas.
  • If food is partially thawed, but still has some ice crystals, it usually can be refrozen. However, fish, meats and other foods in cream sauces, frozen dinners, cream cakes and cream pies are best used immediately or discarded.
  • If food is completely thawed, but still cold to the touch, use the food immediately or dispose of it.