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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What To Do for a Power Outage

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

When big storms roll though your Chesapeake area, especially winter storms, depending on where you live, power outages can be pretty common. Besides the obvious issues of heat/ac, lighting and potential evacuation, power outages come with a host of minor inconveniences as well. A common one is trying to figure out how long your freezer/fridge has been without electricity and whether or not your food is safe to eat still or if it has gone bad from lack of refrigeration. Here’s a quick and easy tip for making trying to figure it out a little easier.

Fill a small glass with water and let it freeze in your freezer. Once the water is frozen, take a quarter and put it on top of the ice in the cup. Now, simply leave that cup inside the freezer. The next time you experience a power outage in your home, or you’ve had to evacuate, you’ll be able to use this cup to help decide on if your food has thawed and is unsafe to eat.

After the electricity has come back on and you’ve returned home, you can check this cup and see where the quarter is. If the quarter is still on top of the cup of water, then it’s likely that your freezer either stayed on, or was not without power for very long, and nothing has thawed out and is still safe to eat. If the quarter is farther down in the cup but not near the bottom, then things might’ve started to defrost but did not completely thaw out. As long as caution is used these items are likely still safe to eat. Finally, if the quarter is on the bottom of the cup, this is an indication that your freezer was likely off for a decent period of time and that the food items have at one point completely thawed out and are probably no longer safe to eat.

It's important to use your best judgment when it comes to making sure food is still safe to eat. If you feel something might not be good any longer then the best plan is to just throw it out, but if you are pretty sure that it is still okay this little frozen quarter trick might help set your mind at ease a little, knowing that the water in the cup never thawed out.

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