»

Power Outage

Power Outage

What should I do to keep my food safe during a power outage?

Keep the doors to the refrigerator and freezer closed. Every time a door is opened the cold air escapes.

How long will my food stay safe?

  • Keep an appliance thermometer in then refrigerator and freezer at all times to remove the guesswork of how cold food is.
  • Food in the refrigerator is safe to eat if it is at 40°F or below. Generally, refrigerated foods should be safe as long as power is out no more than four hours.
  • Food in the freezer portion of a refrigerator-freezer should stay frozen for up to a day if the door is closed.
  • A separate free-standing chest or upright freezer will keep food frozen solid for two days if it is fully loaded. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for a day, especially if the food has been grouped together.

What should I do after the power comes back on?

  • Discard refrigerated food that is warmer than 40°F.
  • If frozen food thaws but stays at 40°F or colder, cook or refreeze them as soon as possible.
  • Do not taste food that you think might be bad.
  • Throw food away based on temperature – not the way it looks or smells.
  • If you have questions, Throw the food out!
  • Thoroughly clean the inside of the refrigerator and/or freezer after spoiled or thawed foods are taken out with soap and water and then with a bleach solution.

It's winter and my power is out. Can I store my perishable foods outside in the cold?

Storing food outside is potentially dangerous and is not recommended.

  • If the food is exposed to the sun's rays, there could be melting of frozen foods and refrigerated foods could become too warm.
  • The temperature outside is variable and if the temperature is cold enough to keep frozen foods frozen, it is too cold for refrigerated foods.
  • Food stored outside is exposed to unsanitary conditions and to animals that pass by.

If you have questions, call the Scott County Health Department.

News & Notices

Find updated flood resource information on this page. New FEMA and SBA Disaster Assistance information added May 16, 2019.
Posted: May 8, 2019
People commonly ask about the risk of tetanus during floods. Flooding is NOT shown to increase the risk for tetanus disease. However, people are at risk for tetanus infection IF they are injured and have wounds that are contaminated by the environment. Any time you receive a wound, ask your...
Posted: May 6, 2019
Flood-related information to keep yourself healthy and safe during the flooding. http://idph.iowa.gov/flooding
Posted: May 3, 2019