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Power Outages in Your Home

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Plan for an emergency before it happens.

Power outages at home:

  • Store food carefully to prevent foodborne illness when power outages make refrigeration unavailable.
  • Use food that can spoil most rapidly first.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Use an ice chest packed with ice or snow to keep food cold.
  • Buy dry ice to save frozen food. Do not handle dry ice with your bare hands.
  • Use blocks or bags of ice in your refrigerator.
  • Use caution if storing food outside during winter to keep it cold.
  • Secure food stored outside to prevent contamination by animals.
  • If in doubt, throw it out. Throw out meat, seafood, dairy products and cooked food that doesn't feel cold.
  • Never taste suspect food. Even if food looks and smells fine, illness-causing bacteria may be present.

Adapted from Washington State Department of Health (DOH Pub 821-030 March 2008) and Washington State Military Department Emergency Management Division resources.

FoodSafety.gov Power Outage Flyer

food safety flyer
Click image for PDF

Questions? 

Contact the Food Safety Program at food@tpchd.org or (253) 798-6460.

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