As severe weather strikes many parts of the country, it's important to know that you can keep your food from spoiling even if you lose power.
There are some general criteria to follow when evaluating what food is still good to consume after being stored in a powerless fridge.
The United States Department of Agriculture does not recommend putting food outside in the snow in an effort to preserve it.
Even if the food is still packaged, this could lead to early thawing and make it exposed to wild animals.
Foods can stay cold for up to 48 hours with reduced exposure to outdoor temperatures, according to the USDA.
Meat, poultry, eggs, condiments, like mayonnaise or fish sauce, refrigerated doughs, desserts with cream, cheese, milk, and pre-cut fruit and vegetables should be kept at 40°F.
Foods that have been over that temperature for more than two hours should probably be thrown away rather than eaten.
Hard cheeses like Parmesan, butter, whole raw fruits and vegetables, premade breads, nut butters, ketchup, and herbs can all survive the temperature swing.
Foods that don't need to be kept at a specific temperature, such as canned vegetables, fruits, and meats, can be eaten even when the power goes out.
If you can still see ice crystals on the objects in your freezer after the electricity has been restored, it is entirely safe to refreeze them.