Refrigerator without electricity: which foods to throw away and which to keep after a blackout
After a long power outage, it's a little unsettling to look into the fridge. If there was no power for more than 4 hours, the food in it could heat up above a safe temperature and spoil.
OBOZREVATEL has figured out which foods and dishes will have to be thrown away and which can be kept, according to the recommendations of experts and scientists.
The temperature and time method
Dangerous bacteria need time to multiply in food. Therefore, a dish that has been kept warm for a short period of time may be perfectly suitable for consumption. But how do you know if your food is safe after a blackout?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that properly cooked foods are virtually free of infectious agents. However, if cooked food has been stored at temperatures above 4 degrees Celsius for two hours or more, it should be thrown away. The same applies to food that has spent 1 hour at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.
As for foods that have been stored in the freezer, check for ice crystals in the thickness of the food, look for loss of texture and normal physical properties such as color or density. If you notice any of the above, it's best not to take any chances and throw the product away.
What can be stored even after prolonged exposure to heat
Experts from the University of Michigan have compiled a list of foods for which prolonged exposure to temperatures above 4 degrees is not dangerous.
You can leave butter, margarine, hard cheeses - in one piece, sliced or grated - and processed cheeses after a long (more than 6 hours) power outage.
Fruits and juices
Canned fruits will survive a blackout in the refrigerator, as will vegetables, even in open packaging, juices - they can also be left, even if they were previously unpacked, and fresh fruits. If they show no signs of rot, they are completely safe even if stored at room temperature.
Vegetables, mushrooms, herbs
All of these products are perfectly suitable for fresh consumption, even if they have spent a long time in the refrigerator. The main annoyance that can happen to them is that they will lose some freshness. In this case, you just need to take the time to cook them. Pickles and marinades made from tomatoes and cucumbers, canned olives, etc. should not be thrown away either.
If you store buns, waffles, pancakes, bagels, cookies, unleavened bread, and various flatbreads (pita bread, tortillas, etc.) in the refrigerator, you can keep them after blackout - they are completely safe.
Seasonings and toppings
Even pre-opened vinegar-based salad dressings, jams, jellies, sauces, mustard, ketchup, and soy sauce are not dangerous.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you how to properly handle your refrigerator to keep it cold longer during a power outage.