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Dealing with food in the power outage aftermath

Freezers that are fully packed with food and the door is kept closed will last up to 48 hours. If you don't have a thermometer in the freezer, and the food still has ice crystals on it, it'll be safe to keep. / Photo: Alexandria Ikomoni

When you just packed the fridge with food, it can be hard to throw it away after the power has been out.

If food has been sitting in the refrigerator for more than four hours with no power, it needs to be thrown away. If the thermometer inside reads more than 40 degrees, it's not safe to eat.

Freezers that are fully packed with food and the door is kept closed will last up to 48 hours. If you don't have a thermometer in the freezer, and the food still has ice crystals on it, it'll be safe to keep.

According to experts, you shouldn't take any chances and risk getting a food-borne illness.

"You can end up with mild gastrointestinal distress to severe diarrhea and vomiting, which is going to lead to dehydration and potentially hospitalization," Julie Joiner, dietitian, said. "It's just not worth it."

Raw vegetables and fruits will be safe to keep, but if it's cut open, you shouldn't save it.

Foodsafety.gov will provide more information on what food can be saved, and what should be tossed.

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