An Easy Household Tip To Keep Your Family Safe

An Easy Household Tip To Keep Your Family Safe

Widespread power outages can occur due to the volatile Kansas weather, but if you’re not home when the lights go out, you may not even realize the power was out. 

One comment we get a lot it, “who do I blame for food spoilage?” or “How do I know if my freezer stayed cold?”

A household tip you can utilize regarding food safety is the penny in the freezer tip. 

1.    Freeze about a half bottle of water. 
2.    Place a penny on top of the ice. 
3.    After a power outage, check the bottle. If the power was out for a prolonged period, the ice would have melted. The penny will sink as the ice melts. 
4.    If the penny is all the way at the bottom of the bottle, you may want to throw out any questionable food items to keep your family from getting sick.  

Why is this something you should do? 
If you worry if food in the refrigerator is safe to consume after a prolonged power outage this trick can help you monitor food safety risks from meat to milk. If you aren’t home during the outage the power may be restored before you even know the power was out. 

The penny in the bottle allows you monitor food safety depending on the location of the penny in the bottle. 

If the penny is at the top, the freezer was not off long enough to thaw food. If the penny is at the bottom of the bottle, or the bottle has turned to liquid, food may not be safe to eat. If the penny is in the middle of the bottle, food will likely be OK, but use your judgment on whether it is safe. 

One way to keep items as cool as possible during an outage is to leave the doors on the refrigerator or freezer closed. 

Food in the refrigerator will be safe for up to four hours without power, provided you keep the door closed as much as possible. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that food stored above 40 degrees for over two hours should be discarded. 

When in doubt. Throw it out. 

FreeState Electric Cooperative does allow members to turn in claims to our insurance company if you do lose food, or the functionality of any appliances due to an outage. However, weather events rarely constitute reimbursement for food loss. 

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