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Food Safety During Power Outage

Refrigerated Food and Power Outages: When to Save It and When to Throw It Out

As the USDA notes in Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency, your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to 4 hours during a power outage. Mantenga la puerta cerrada tanto como sea posible. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers after 4 hours without power.

After a power outage never taste food to determine its safety. You will have to evaluate each item separately—use this chart as a guide. When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

Tipo de alimento Held above 40 °F for more than 2 hours
Meat, poultry, seafood
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood;
soy meat substitutes
Carnes de res o de ave descongeladas Desechar
Ensaladas: carne, atún, langostinos, pollo o huevos Desechar
Salsa, relleno, caldo Desechar
Fiambres, perros calientes, tocino, embutidos, carne de res deshidratada Desechar
Pizza with any topping Desechar
Jamones enlatados con etiqueta "Conservar refrigerado" Desechar
Carnes y pescados enlatados, abiertos Desechar
Guisados, sopas y estofados Desechar
Soft cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco Desechar
Hard cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano Keep
Quesos procesados Keep
Quesos rallados Desechar
Low-fat cheeses Desechar
Rallado parmesano, romano o combinación (en lata o frasco) Keep
Leche, crema, crema agria, suero de leche, leche condensada, yogur, ponche de huevo, leche de soja Desechar
Mantequilla, margarina Keep
Leche de fórmula para bebés, abierta Desechar
Huevos frescos, huevos duros con cáscara, comidas con huevo, productos derivados del huevo Desechar
Natilla y budines, quiche Desechar
Frutas frescas, cortadas Desechar
Fresh fruits, uncut Keep
Jugos de frutas, abiertos Keep
Frutas enlatadas, abiertas Keep
Dried fruits, raisins, candied fruits, dates Keep
Sliced or shredded coconut Desechar
Sauces, Spreads, Jams
Mayonesa, salsa tártara, salsa de rábano picante abiertas Desechar
(if above 50 °F for more than 8 hrs)
Mantequilla de maní Keep
Gelatina, salsa de pepinillos, salsa para tacos, mostaza, salsa de tomates, aceitunas, pepinillos Keep
Salsa Worcestershire, de soja, para parrillada, Hoisin Keep
Salsas de pescado, salsa de ostras Desechar
Aderezos a base de vinagre abiertos Keep
Aderezos a base de crema abiertos Desechar
Spaghetti sauce, opened Desechar
Bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, grains
Pan, panecillos, tortas, muffins, panes rápidos, tortillas Keep
Galletas, panecillos, masa de galletitas para refrigerador Desechar
Pastas, arroz, papas cocidas Desechar
Ensaladas de pasta con mayonesa o vinagreta Desechar
Pastas frescas Desechar
Pastel de queso Desechar
Breakfast foods: waffles, pancakes, bagels Keep
Pies and pastry
Cream filled pastries Desechar
Pies: custard, cheese-filled, or chiffon; quiche Desechar
Fruit pies Keep
Fresh vegetables, cut Desechar
Fresh vegetables, uncut Keep
Hongos, hierbas, especias frescas Keep
Vegetales de hojas verdes, precortados, prelavados, envasados Desechar
Vegetables, cooked Desechar
Tofu, cooked Desechar
Jugo de vegetales, abierto Desechar
Papas al horno Desechar
Ajo en aceite Desechar
Ensalada de papas Desechar
Guisados, sopas y estofados Desechar

Frozen Food and Power Outages: When to Save It and When to Throw It Out

A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed). Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below, however, its quality may suffer. Never taste food to determine its safety. Use this chart as a general guide.

Type of food Contains ice crystals and feels cold as if refrigerated     Thawed and held above 40°F for more than 2 hours
Meat, poultry, seafood
Meat, poultry, seafood – all types of cuts Volver a congelar
stews, soups Volver a congelar
Leche Volver a congelar
(some loss of texture)
Huevos (sin cáscara) y productos con huevo Volver a congelar Desechar
Helado, yogur congelado Desechar Desechar
Quesos (duros y semiduros) Refreeze (some loss of texture) Desechar
Quesos duros Volver a congelar Volver a congelar
Quesos rallados Volver a congelar Desechar
Pastel de queso Volver a congelar Desechar
Jugos Volver a congelar Refreeze. (discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops)
Envasado comercial o casero Volver a congelar
(will change texture and flavor)
Refreeze (discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops)
Jugos Volver a congelar Discard after held above 40°F for 6 hours
Envasado o blanqueado comercial o casero Refreeze (may suffer texture and flavor loss) Discard after held above 40°F for 6 hours
Breads and pastries
Panes, panecillos, muffins, tortas (sin relleno de natilla) Volver a congelar Volver a congelar
Tortas, tartas, pasteles con relleno de natilla o queso Volver a congelar Desechar
Tapas de masa, masa de pan comercial y casera Refreeze (some quality loss may occur) Refreeze (quality loss is considerable)
Other Foods
Casseroles: pasta, rice-based Volver a congelar Desechar
Harina, harina de maíz, nueces Volver a congelar Volver a congelar
Breakfast items: waffles, pancakes, bagels Volver a congelar Volver a congelar
Frozen meal, entree, specialty item (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie, convenience foods) Volver a congelar Desechar
Date Last Reviewed