For those who lost power during Thursday’s tornado and thunderstorms, you have very short amount of time before the food in your refrigerator has to be tossed. If your power is still out, that window for the fridge has already passed.
If you keep the door closed, the fridge will keep food at a safe temperature of 40 degrees for about four hours. Meat, eggs and dairy, including milk and cheese that gets above this temperature should be thrown out after two hours.
The freezer, again, if kept closed as much as possible will keep food safe up to 48 hours, according to the USDA. Here’s their fact sheet on keeping food safe prepared by their Food Safety and Inspection Service.
You can use dry ice to keep your food fresh. It can be purchased by the pound at area grocery stores.
If you have meat in freezer, take it out and cook it after it begins to thaw. If you power comes back on and the package still has ice crystals, it may be safe to refreeze, but you might want to consider inviting the neighbors over for an impromptu barbecue instead.