Storm Center

Food Safety

Food in the refrigerator should be safe as long as power is out no more than four hours. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep the door closed as much as possible
  • Discard any perishable food (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 45 degrees Fahrenheit for over two hours
  • Always discard any items that have come into contact with raw meat juices
  • Foods will keep frozen in the freezer for up to 72 hours for a fully stocked freezer, and about 24 hours for a half-full freezer
  • Foods will remain frozen longer if:
    • The freezer door remains closed
    • The freezer is full or nearly full
    • The outside air temperature is cool
    • The freezer is large and well insulated
    • The food has a higher water content

If you are unsure if a food is safe to eat following a prolonged power outage, note that food that has become tainted by food poisoning bacteria cannot be detected by sight, smell, touch or taste. As a general rule, when in doubt, throw it out. For specific food safety questions or concerns, contact the Hawaii Department of Health at (808) 586-8000.