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

Sign your community or workplace up to participate in Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative annual walk. Learn more about walking to make Iowa healthier and to promote healthy lifestyles! http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/events/annual-walk/resources/ .
Posted: August 18, 2017
A new counterfeit opioid drug has been found in Iowa. These counterfeit pills that have been made to look like the prescription pain pill oxycodone were found to have much more powerful and dangerous opioid drugs mixed within the pill. Click here to learn more.
Posted: July 17, 2017
Scott County Health Department will be partnering with Greater Than AIDS and Walgreens Pharmacy for National HIV Testing Day 2017. Free rapid testing will be available at Walgreens Pharmacy, 1805 Brady Street Davenport on June 27, 28, and 29 from 3:00-7:00pm. Click here to learn more:
Posted: June 9, 2017