How long can food last in a refrigerator that lost power?

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KevinLA
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09 Sep 2011, 12:42 pm

Yes, I did google it.

Most answers say 4 hours in a refrigerator without power

or

Two hours when the food is over 40 degrees.

However, I wonder if this is just being ultra conservative and that food could last longer.

Our power was out for nine and half hours.

I also read that even if food like ground beef smells ok, it might still have bacteria

I also read somewhere that food can last 24 hours in a refrigerator without power.

On a tangent, how long can food last in a cooler with ice?

Does anyone have an educated answer to this question?



Zen
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09 Sep 2011, 12:58 pm

I do not have an educated answer. However, I'd think if the food wasn't spoiled, simply cooking it to the proper internal temperature (would have to look up the exact temperature) would kill any bacteria.

We were without a fridge for a week when we moved, waiting for it to be delivered, so we kept food on the porch in a cooler with ice, which we replaced daily. However, that was November and the outside temperatures were pretty low.



MakaylaTheAspie
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09 Sep 2011, 1:02 pm

It depends on the fridge you're using. Mine lasted about two days before we could tell it was broken. The food was still okay.


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blueroses
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09 Sep 2011, 1:56 pm

I lost power for 16 hours during Hurricane Irene and didn't lose a thing. (Granted, I did have ice packs and the like, which I'd frozen the night before and put in there, though).

I think it really depends on the type of food, whether it was raw or already cooked, etc. I had left over gf pasta with meat sauce that was fine because the meat was pre-cooked and in a tomato-based sauce, but I don't think raw ground beef would have been okay. In addition to raw meats, I'd also imagine dairy products would go pretty quickly.



TeaEarlGreyHot
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09 Sep 2011, 2:15 pm

Food lasts longer the less you open the fridge. Keeps the cold in. Other than that, what blueroses said.


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09 Sep 2011, 4:08 pm

Don't do it. I lost power for a few hours during the recent hurricane, and I thought it was fine. I was seriously wrong. I hate food poisoning.


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KevinLA
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09 Sep 2011, 4:47 pm

SammichEater wrote:
Don't do it. I lost power for a few hours during the recent hurricane, and I thought it was fine. I was seriously wrong. I hate food poisoning.


It looks like if I do eat the food I probably wouldn't get sick, although I could get sick.

That is probably the correct answer.



iamnotaparakeet
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09 Sep 2011, 5:36 pm

It depends upon the specific heat capacity of the items in the fridge, what temperature they are, what temperature outside the fridge is, how good of an insulator your fridge is, and how much mass you have in the fridge. More mass means the items will take longer to cool. The warmer the temperature outside the fridge the fast the items will warm up because heat is transferred due to temperature differences going from higher temperature to lower temperature until equilibrium is reached. If you want to slow the process, you could add some insulation to the outside of your fridge, such as coats or covers.



nick007
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09 Sep 2011, 11:58 pm

Ours goes about half a day before we run a generator when our power goes out during hurricanes. We leave the doors for the fridge & lids for the chest freezers closed when they generator is not running & we have the freezers set to the coldest temp & everything is usually pretty full so that helps keep everything cold. Food like ice-cream has to get tossed out after but most everything else is OK


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10 Sep 2011, 12:15 am

Depends entirely on what kind of food, how far, urm.. "along" it was before the power died, and (I've learned) how much you open and shut the door to "see how the food is doing", and what the temperature is.


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