West Michigan got hammered with severe thunderstorms and strong wind gusts nearing 80 mph's.

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Those strong winds left a trail of devastation in their path knocking down power lines and leaving over 145,000 Consumers Energy customers without power.

While it's frustrating to be without creature comforts such as A/C and Wifi probally the biggest pain in the but is tossing out food from the fridge and freezer.

If you're just as confused as I am about what to do when you lose power continue reading.

Here's How Long Food Stays Good After A Power Outage

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

When you lose power, it's crucial to act quickly to preserve the food in your refrigerator and freezer.

The key is to keep these appliances closed as much as possible to maintain their cold temperatures.

For refrigerated items, you have a 4-hour window before food safety becomes a concern.

During this time, perishables like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers should remain safe to consume.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

However, if the power outage extends beyond 4 hours, it's time to start discarding these items.

Freezers offer more leeway. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for approximately 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will keep food frozen for about 24 hours.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

This extended timeframe is due to the insulating effect of frozen items packed closely together.

To maximize food preservation during an outage do the following:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Group foods together in the freezer to help them stay cold longer.
  • Use coolers with ice packs to store refrigerated items if the outage is expected to last more than 4 hours.
  • Consider using dry or block ice to maintain cold temperatures in your appliances for prolonged outages.

Once power is restored you should check the appliance thermometers.

If the freezer reads 40°F or below, the food is safe and can be refrozen.

For the refrigerator, if it has been above 40°F for more than 2 hours, discard perishables.

Nobody likes to waste food, but it's best to follow the old adage "when in doubt, throw it out" so you can avoid any kind of foodborne illness.

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Gallery Credit: Canva

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