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Food Safety 101: Using Dry Ice During A Power Outage

Protecting your food when electricity goes out

dry ice for food protection new york

Believe it or not, summer is just weeks away – and summer can often mean severe weather and the power outages that come with it.

Once consequence of a power outage is food spoilage – a problem that can cost you hundreds of dollars and another trip to the market (not fun these days). The good news is you can keep that food protected with a little help from dry ice.

Be prepared

Leaving refrigerator and freezer doors shut during the early stages of a power outage will keep food cold for a day or two, depending on how full your appliance is – but the longer the power is out, the greater the risk for food spoilage.

Clocking in at -109 degrees F, dry ice can temporarily cool your refrigerator or freezer. During a power outage, place about 25 to 30 pounds of dry ice on the top shelf of the freezer; in a refrigerator, place the dry ice on the bottom shelf (you won’t need nearly as much dry ice for the refrigerator since the food will not have to be frozen). If your power outage lasts more than a few days, you will need more dry ice, which sublimates (turns into a gas) over time.

Always practice food safety

Once the power returns, it’s important to make sure your food has remained safe to eat. Never taste food to determine its safety!

Here’s a good rule of thumb, courtesy of foodsafety.gov:

“Thawed or partially thawed food in the freezer may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below. Partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat.”

For more information about food safety during an emergency, visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency page.

Need dry ice to keep food fresh for shipping, camping, or in an emergency? Irish Carbonic has plenty on hand. Contact us today to learn more.

Please note: At Irish Carbonic, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our COVID-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep our your family and our crews safe while we provide our essential services in Buffalo, Rochester, and Ohio.

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