HECO Provides Food Safety Tips During Power Outage


HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Due to widespread power outages across Oahu resulting from high winds and rains, and the forecast for continued bad weather, Hawaiian Electric offers these food safety tips for customers who may experience an extended outage:

  • 1. During a power outage, a fully-stocked free-standing freezer will keep most of your foods frozen for up to seventy-two hours -- if you don't open the door! Don't peek inside to see if the food is still frozen...each time you open the door, cold air gets out.
  • 2. The freezer section of a refrigerator-freezer will keep most of your foods frozen ten to twenty-four hours. Try not to open the freezer door during an outage as you'll let the cold air escape.
  • 3. If power restoration is taking longer than anticipated, put some dry ice in the freezer. Always use gloves or tongs when handling it. Dry ice can be placed directly on top of your foods. Remember, dry ice cools foods below it.
  • 4. After the power is restored, you can refreeze most your food items that still have ice crystals remaining, but try to consume these foods as soon as possible.
  • 5. After the power has been restored check your foods and immediately cook foods that have thawed out, but are still cold. Dispose of any food that has an off color or odd odor, or perishable foods that have warmed to room temperature for an unknown length of time.
  • 6. Here are some guidelines for food safety -- butter, margarine, and hard cheeses are safe unless mold or rancid odors develop. Fresh fruits and vegetables are safe as long as they aren't mushy or slimy. Eggs will be safe for several days if the shells have no cracks. Fresh meat, poultry, luncheon meats or hot-dogs should be discarded if allowed to warm to room temperature for more than two hours. Milk and cream probably will sour after eight hours without refrigeration. Vinegar and oil salad dressings, jellies, jams, mustard, pickles, and olives may be safely kept UN-refrigerated unless they have been contaminated by poultry or meat juices.

When in doubt, throw it out!