During a prolonged power outage, your food may become unsafe to eat and increase your risk of illness. Medications that need to be refrigerated may also become less effective or stop working. It is important to plan ahead and protect your health during a power outage.
- If you are not certain food is safe, throw it out
- If you have lost power for a prolonged period of time, discard the contents of your refrigerator/freezer:
o Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or leftovers) that has been at temperatures above 40° F for 2 hours or more (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90º F).
- Some drugs require refrigeration to keep their strength, including many liquid drugs.
- When the power is out for a day or more, throw away any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise.
- If a life depends on the refrigerated drug, but the medications have been at room temperature, use them only until a new supply is available.
- Replace all refrigerated drugs as soon as possible.
- Consult your pharmacist with questions about medication storage and maintaining a supply during a prolonged outage. A list of commonly used refrigerated medications and the length of stability is listed in the following guide.