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How to Avoid Wasting Food in a Power Outage – Money Talks News

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

The lights begin to flicker. You hear the regular hum of the refrigerator hiccup, then return. But then it all goes dark. Yo…….

Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

The lights begin to flicker. You hear the regular hum of the refrigerator hiccup, then return. But then it all goes dark. Your power is out.

Power outages are common when snow and windstorms take down power lines, or in the summer when power lines can’t handle the increased demand. There are many inconveniences and actual problems caused when your power goes out, but one of the hidden dangers of power outages is the bacteria that will begin growing in perishable foods as they begin to thaw. A little preparation before, during and after the power outage can help you waste less food and save money.

Prepare for the inevitable

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If your neighborhood is at risk for power outages during certain times of the year, you’d be wise to prepare in advance for the inevitable loss of power. Here’s what you need to do.

Monitor the temperature in your appliance

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Newer refrigerators and freezers have a digital display, but if you have an older model, purchase an appliance thermometer to keep in your refrigerator and freezer. This way you can monitor the temperature in your appliances and know if the numbers are getting close to the danger zone. Refrigerator temperatures should be 40 degrees or lower, and freezers should be around zero degrees or lower.

Temperatures tend to be warmer nearest the door because opening and closing allows outside warmer air to enter the appliance. Place your thermometer near the door so you can check temperatures easily and close the door as quickly as possible.

Freeze water in 1-quart plastic storage bags or small containers

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If your freezer is not packed full of items, fill those empty spots with frozen gel packs, reclosable freezer bags and small containers of frozen water. The solid blocks of ice will help keep food cool in inside your freezer or a well-insulated cooler for 24 hours or more. Keep them small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold.

If you purchase and store more food in the freezer, small containers can be removed and the remaining containers rearranged around the food. If your containers are too big, you will have more trouble filling smaller open spaces that will allow thawing to occur. Don’t fill the bags and containers too full. Because water expands when it freezes, the bags might split.

Freeze refrigerated food

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Freeze …….

Source: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/how-to-avoid-wasting-food-in-a-power-outage/

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