How long is the food in your refrigerator good for after a power outage? Not as long as you may think, according to NJ.com.

Tropical Storm Isaias wasn't kind as it passed through our area earlier today (August 4th). With driving rain and strong winds, Isaias left well over a million people without power, including me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's freaking out over the possibility of losing all of the food in the refrigerator, and of course, I just went grocery shopping. When any of my family goes into the kitchen I remind them (ever so politely) to not open the refrigerator door, thinking that will save it all, if we don't let the cool escape.

As I write this, I've been without power for almost 7 hours. Neighbors are gathered outside talking about the texts we've been getting from our power company, PSE&G, giving us an estimated restoration date and time of Friday at 12:15am. Friday? Oh my. That's more than 2 days from now. Ugh. We're know they're working hard, and we're so grateful.

We were also talking about how long the food would last in our refrigerators. A few of my neighbors said they had heard 24 hours. Hmm. Sounded good to me. Hopefully, our power will be back on before then, proving the Friday PSE&G estimate wrong.

Uh, oh. While scrolling through Facebook, I saw a guide from NJ.com on how long your food is safe, in your refrigerator, after a power outage, and it's not 24 hours (I think that was wishful thinking), it's only 6 hours. Yup, that's it.

So, if you've been out of power, like me, for 6 hours or more, these are the refrigerated foods that you should throw away because they're no longer safe to eat:

  • Leftover cooked meat
  • Lunch meats (cold cuts)
  • Pizza
  • Shredded cheeses
  • Fresh fruits and vegetable that have already been cut
  • Cooked vegetables.

Looks like I'll be doing more grocery shopping whenever I get power back. Here's hoping it's soon.