Electricity is being repaired throughout your area and you have so much stuff stored in your Refrigerator. You would definitely concern about the stuff that has been gone through the fluctuating temperatures. Definitely it’s a reason to be worried.
When the power comes back, take out all your stuff from your Refrigerator and clean it thoroughly with a wet cloth and with some kitchen cleaner liquid.
And First of all, if you have any kind of doubt that any of the Food stored in your freezer is looking rotten, do not taste it to check whether it is fine or not. You can guess their condition by its look or smell.
There are few things that need your consideration when Electricity comes back:
If the Frost crystals are still there on some of the Foods which are held in freezer at the temperature of 40°F or below, those foods are still good to go in the Freezer again. Food stuffs like Poultry, Uncooked Meat, Juices, Cheese and Jams, Canned Items can be refrozen. Although you can freeze those foods again, but the quality may go down.
Place these foods in a separate part in your freezer and Try to use them as soon as possible. As we all know Seafood is quite sensitive and it melts quickly along with Minced Meat, these two needs to be used before rest of remaining meats. If any of your stuff in your Refrigerators is defrosted and if it was held above the 40° F temperature, you should cook those foods and serve them as soon as possible.
The food which was stored in the freezer for more than 2 hours with the temperature above 40° F should not be used or refrozen. The reason is that, the bacteria may proliferate to precarious heights and it’ll surely not safe to eat, taste or freeze that food again. The foods which can be refrozen under such circumstances are Juices, Butter, Margarine, and paper or plastic wrapped cheese. Bread, cheese and tartlets without any filling can be refrigerated again.
Dispose of all the leftovers including Meats dishes, poultry, seafood, soft cheeses without thinking for a minute. As per the above mentioned Temperature, discard every Dairy Product; Milk, Cream, soy milk, yogurt, cream cheese etc. Fresh Juices and vegetables are good as long as they don’t look bad or smell rotten. But if you have any cut fruits, or already-in-use vegetable juices, they are not going to do any good to your health.
Sauces such as hot sauce, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, pickles, relishes, Salad Dressings containing oil and vinegar, Worcestershire and steak sauces will be just fine. They contain Acid which is a natural preservative so they won’t go foul this easily. Jams, Jellies, sweet fruit syrups are also good to be used as they also contain Sugar which is again a natural Preservative. You can use Peanut Butter and nuts without any worry. So, these kinds of stuffs are still good to go fine. Whole Fruits and even dried fruits can be used certainly.
But it would be better if you use these foods As soon as possible. After all, several hours of Electricity Collapse, and things starting to thaw, the quality will surely be going down with the passage of time. So, it would not be apt for them to be refrozen again for a long time.
These were some of the things that should be taken care of when the Power resumes back.