The power goes out for several hours.  After a while, it comes back on and you are hungry.  You open your refrigerator and wonder…is the food safe to eat?

That’s a legitimate question because you wouldn’t want to get a case of food poisoning.

One good resource is, which is run by the Department of Health and Human Services.  If you go to this page and this page, you can get information on what to save and what to throw out after a power outage.  The key takeaway:

Is food in the refrigerator safe during a power outage? It should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.

There is a lot more information on food safety on this site so spend some time getting familiar with it.  Knowledge of food safety in emergency situations could come in handy the next time a disaster strikes.