If your power was out for any significant amount of time, you may need to discard perishable foods in your refrigerators and freezers. Please read for more details.
The weekend’s snow and ice storm caused widespread power outages in the Portland Metro area and beyond, and we assume that many of your agencies were affected. We want to take this opportunity to share some important safety information regarding refrigerated and frozen food.
For a complete list of what foods should be kept and what should be thrown away after an extended power outage, please read this information from the USDA.
If your power was out for more than four hours and you were not monitoring your refrigerator temperatures, assume any perishable food in your refrigerators is no longer safe to eat and discard it securely*.
If you were monitoring your refrigerator temperatures during the outage, and they rose above 41°F for more than two hours, all perishable foods should be discarded securely.
Immediately discard any perishable foods that are no longer frozen solid.
If your power was out for more than 24 hours and you were not monitoring your freezer temperatures, discard any perishable foods stored in freezers that are not completely full or have had the door opened for any amount of time.
If your power was out for more than 48 hours and you were not monitoring your freezer temperatures, discard perishable foods stored in all freezers.
If you were monitoring your freezer temperatures during the outage, discard perishable foods in any freezer that rose above 41°F for any amount of time. (Please note that foods stored between 33-41°F are safe to refreeze, but the quality may be impacted significantly. Therefore, we do not recommend refreezing any food that has thawed).
*To ensure unsafe food is not consumed accidentally, it should be discarded immediately in a locking trash container. If it cannot be discarded immediately, separate it from any food that is still safe to eat and label it clearly.