Food may or may not be safe after an emergency situation such as a:
When in doubt, throw it out!
However, appearance or smell is not always a reliable indicator. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been warm too long, they may contain enough bacteria to make people ill.
Keeping your food cool
If you experience a power failure during any emergency event, there are several steps you can take to limit the amount of spoilage to refrigerated and frozen food. In the event of a power failure that lasts longer than several minutes:
take note of the time
keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep the air temperature colder for longer. A closed refrigerator/freezer should keep your food cool for 4 to 6 hours.
quickly move perishable food from the refrigerator to the freezer
meat, poultry and fish should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator
When power is restored
After the power has been restored you should check the temperature of perishable food in your refrigerator to see if the temperature is 5°C or below.
Less than 2 hours
If it perishable food is above 5°C and the power has been off for less than 2 hours you can re-refrigerate the food or use it immediately.
More than 4 hours
If the food temperature is above 5°C or has defrosted in the freezer certain foods may be unsuitable to consume if stored above 5°C for more than 4 hours. They include:
raw or cooked meat
meat topped pizza
casseroles, stews or soups
milk, cream, yoghurt, soft cheese (for example camembert and brie), most dips
mayonnaise, tartare sauce, creamy dressings, aioli and other salad dressings
cooked pasta, potato, rice and salads prepared from these foods
sweet baked foods with cream
Certain foods can be safely stored at room temperature (above 5°C) for longer periods of time and still be safe to eat. These foods include:
Butter and margarine
fresh fruit and vegetables
dried fruit and nuts
fresh herbs and spices
open jars of salad dressing, peanut butter, relish sauce
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.