7 Tricks to Keep Your Food Fresh for Longer During a Power Outage

7 tricks to keep your food fresh for a long

7 Tricks to Keep Your Food Fresh for Longer During a Power Outage|: A constant power supply is something that we cannot always guarantee even with the presence of a standby generator.

This then becomes a big deal, particularly when there is heavy reliance on electricity for food preservation.

Stocking up your refrigerator or freezer with fresh foods only for them to end up spoiling because of a prolonged power outage can present huge cost implications.

It is, therefore, important to have certain tricks up your sleeves that you can easily pull out during periods of a power outage to save the life of your foods and keep them fresh.

The following 7 tricks can help keep your food fresh during a power outage:

1. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed

As much as you can, avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer doors.

This allows the cool air to stay trapped in and work on keeping the food inside cold rather than escaping out due to frequent opening and closing.

Typically, a refrigerator can keep food cold for about 4 hours, a full freezer can keep food cold for approximately 48 hours, while a half-full freezer can keep food cold for approximately 24 hours if they all remain unopened.

The longer the freezer or refrigerator door stays open, the greater the amount of cold air that escapes from the fridge or freezer and is replaced by room temperature air.

In periods of a power outage, keeping as much cold air as you can trapped inside the fridge is of utmost importance.

Keeping the refrigerator and freezer closed, as much as you can, is one way to ensure that the cold air stays trapped in.

Open the refrigerator or freezer only when you need to get something out and close them immediately after. If you can, get what you would need for the whole day out at once.

2. Freeze containers of water or purchase ice cubes

Cold bottles of water can be used to keep the refrigerator and freezer cool in periods of a power outage.

However, if the cool air in your refrigerator or freezer has been overtaken by room temperature air and the cold bottles of water don’t cut it anymore, you can purchase some ice cubes which you can put inside a cooler to keep your food cold.

Move the food from the refrigerator or freezer into the cooler with the ice cubes.

Typically, ice cubes would become an option when the power outage lasts longer than 4 hours if you’re using a refrigerator, or 24-48 hours if you’re using a freezer.

However, if these ice cubes are not stored properly, there is no doubt that they would melt quickly.

It is, therefore, important that you get the right kind of coolers and like the refrigerator and freezer doors, keep the cooler seal closed as much as you can.

While a Styrofoam cooler can store ice for 12 to 24 hours, the hard coolers can store up to 2 days. Whichever type of cooler you use, ensure it can adequately cater to your needs.

3. Group food together in the freezer

Freezers tend to work optimally when they are kept fuller.

This is because fuller freezers do not have to spend so much of the cool air in countering the room temperature air that enters into the freezer whenever you open the freezer door.

With a fuller freezer, there would be lesser space for warmer air to take up.

If your freezer wasn’t full before the power outage, grouping food together in the freezer would work with the same mechanism as when the freezer was full.

Eventually, this would help to keep the food cold for longer, and consequently, keep it fresh.

You could also consider moving the foods that you probably do not need immediately from the refrigerator to the freezer to keep them safe for longer.

4. Source for other means to preserve your perishables

Meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruits are some perishables that can easily spoil, particularly when the power has been out for too long.

In this case, sourcing for other means to preserve these perishables then becomes an option.

You can extend the life of your eggs by applying mineral oil over the shell and keeping them in a cool dark place.

This should help the eggs last for well over a week. However, you should use them as soon as possible.

To preserve meat and fish, encrust them in salt. This is a great way to limit bacterial decomposition. This can keep your food safe for weeks. Fruits and veggies can be taken out of the fridge too and dried.

5. Keep a thermometer inside your freezer or refrigerator

There is a temperature threshold for storing food in a refrigerator or freezer, above which your food is at risk of spoiling.

Keeping a thermometer inside your fridge or freezer can help you keep track of the temperature so you know when room temperature air is beginning to take over the cool air inside the refrigerator or freezer.

According to the FDA, the temperature threshold for a refrigerator is lesser than or equal to 40 and lesser than or equal to 0 for a freezer.

Being aware of the temperature inside your freezer or refrigerator informs your next line of action. You’ll know if to transfer your foods to a cooler or use bottles of cold water.

Instead of depending on your skin to tell if the temperature in your freezer or refrigerator has dropped or not, use a thermometer as they are more accurate.

This not only helps to prevent your food from going completely bad due to a drop in temperature levels but also helps to prevent the health risks that are associated with consuming spoiled food.

6. Cover the refrigerator or freezer with newspaper or blankets

Newspapers and blankets can act as insulators for your refrigerator or freezer when there is a power outage.

Use newspapers and blankets to cover the refrigerator or freezer, but be sure to leave the vents uncovered.

As with every other insulator, this will help to keep the cool air trapped in and ensure that the food inside stays cold, consequently keeping them fresh and making them safe for longer even during a power outage.

7. Refreeze or cook partially thawed food

If your food still has ice crystals forming on them, they are still safe to cook or refreeze.

However, if there are no ice crystals on them, this could be an indication that the food has been completely thawed, warmed to room temperature.

In periods of a power outage, foods in your freezer or refrigerator are at higher risks of getting thawed.

With the help of the thermometer, you can tell when the temperature has moved above the threshold and you can decide to either cook them or move them to the cooler.

This way, your food is still in a safe condition for consumption.


You don’t need to panic whenever there is a power outage. You can still stay on top of the situation, and using the tricks above, keep your food fresh until power is restored.

If your food goes above 40 for more than two hours before the power is restored, discard them as they are no longer suitable for consumption.

With a powerful refrigeration solution, you could keep your food fresh for longer. Take a look at some prolific refrigerators and freezers we have here.

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