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Old 07-30-2006, 10:39 AM   #1
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Again!

Don't know if this is going to be annual routine or not for me but I was w/o electricity for 4+ days. Storms hit here last week and almost all of the area was w/o electric and w/o air conditioning. People around here all had their generators going constantly. Since we don't have one, I noticed the noise more. Guess I knew my food was in jeopardy as well as my nerves!!! What is so odd is that I went through this last year only I didn't get ice hoping the electric would be returned. They kept promising soon and didn't get to it until 5 days later even though there was live wire laying across the driveway. So when it happened this time I tried to get ice with the rest of everyone and experienced real panic. No matter the cost, we needed the ice. I knew the food was most important to me over the a/c.

I have two refrigerators and one deep freeze. I had to throw all the food out of the fridge. My question: if any of you have been w/o electric, how do you determine if it is still okay to prepare the food? Since I had 5 bags in the freezer it did stay cold. If I try to prepare it and it hasn't spoiled do you think I could tell when I fix it if it has certain odor? Everyone I talk to said to throw it out. You just cannot believe how this affects me. Trying to save when there is some kind of sale and 'putting' it away only to throw it out?

This is truly overwhelming for me as I know it is for others. Only the thought of Katrina puts my thoughts in perspective. 'could have been worse'. I may be confessing my weakness here but throwing food out is one thing I try to avoid daily. I do have insurance and I asked the agent if they would wonder if I were trying to get by with something since it happened again? Have to go through and itemize each thing and hope I do remember what I paid for it. Know this is more than average comment. Only hope this doesn't happen to any of you or me again. Thanks for your time.

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Old 07-30-2006, 10:52 AM   #2
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Oh no, ITK!! That's awful. We were just all wondering about you. I'm not sure on the food, but, someone will be able to tell you better about what will still be good or how to tell. I wish you all the best and hope it gets taken care of for you!!
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:13 AM   #3
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Lived through power for several days after a hurricane.

Was able to get ice and packed the freezer and fridge with the stuff.

When the poweer came on cooked the cool stuff and anything that seemed at least semi-frozen let refreeze.

But you have to do what you feel comfortalbe with.

If you would not be happy eating the stuff would toss it.

That's the best advice I can give.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:20 AM   #4
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From what I know, the safety of your food all depends

on how warm it got in the freezer. If it was still mostly frozen when the power came back on then it should be ok to refreeze, but if you were without power for so many days then it was probably thawed. If it never got warmer than what would be considered refrigerator temp then I guess you could cook it now then refreeze it. I am afraid that it wouldn't be safe to just refreeze.

I just learned a tip from a friend of mine that they use at their camp. It may help if this happens again.i
Take a paper cup and freeze about 5 inches of water in it. When it is solidly frozen put a penny on top of the ice. If the power goes out they can tell how much the food in the freezer has thawed by where the penny is in the cup.
No thaw - the penny is still on top. A little thaw - the penny just covered with water and so on.

I'm sorry for what you are going through. We had the same thing happen to us a few years ago. I was hard losing all that food but we didn't have much of a choice.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:28 AM   #5
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When hurricanes hit us in Maryland and Georgia, we tossed everything. I don't know it I'd feel safe, even with 5 bags of ice, to eat it after all that time.

I hate to waste food, too, but I wouldn't want to chance someone getting ill.

We didn't have to list everything in the freezer and frig, we just estimated the $ and they wrote us a check.

Lizannd, what a brilliant tip.
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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ditto what Half Baked said, Lizannd. Sometimes the simplest solutions escape us.
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:34 PM   #7
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Thank You!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizannd
on how warm it got in the freezer. If it was still mostly frozen when the power came back on then it should be ok to refreeze, but if you were without power for so many days then it was probably thawed. If it never got warmer than what would be considered refrigerator temp then I guess you could cook it now then refreeze it. I am afraid that it wouldn't be safe to just refreeze.

I just learned a tip from a friend of mine that they use at their camp. It may help if this happens again.i
Take a paper cup and freeze about 5 inches of water in it. When it is solidly frozen put a penny on top of the ice. If the power goes out they can tell how much the food in the freezer has thawed by where the penny is in the cup.
No thaw - the penny is still on top. A little thaw - the penny just covered with water and so on.

I'm sorry for what you are going through. We had the same thing happen to us a few years ago. I was hard losing all that food but we didn't have much of a choice.
I am going to put this hint in my bible and hope whoever needs it will be able to use it. How wonderful of you to post it. Sure is big help for someone who desparately needs it. Would have been helpful if I would have known about it sooner. This advice is so necessary I sure think everyone who reads this would make special note of it.

I knew if I would share my problem with you all that someone could advise me what to do if it happens again. Tell your friend she is wise. Also appreciate her sharing w/you. Little things do mean so much.

Appreciate all the comments regarding this. aunt dot, now we know how the people w/o electric must HAVE to live. I do feel spoiled. One more thing I have to remember to appreciate and be grateful for.
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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Temperature

The temp today is supposedly to go up to 103, hotter than yesterday. I am truly thankful that I have the electric today. Dan Rathert had special on tv about Global Warming. Then saw something on 60 Minutes about same topic. The White House doesn't want the public to be concerned about it. The war is main thing right now. Tomorrow I can't worry about. Someone has said, each day has its own problem. I am just going to make it through today and repeat this so I remember.

I had some baked chicken in the freezer. It still smells okay and didn't seem to defrost completely. I am going to attempt to eat it tonight. I just don't have the courage to throw all of it away. I think the ice may have helped some. Just hope someone doesn't get sick.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
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In our house we have a motto: "When in doubt, throw it OUT!"

The rule of thumb I've always known (too many years to count, now) is that your food can survive for 3 days in an unopened refrigerator, and for a week in an unopened freezer. "Unopened" being the operative word.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:49 AM   #10
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This site
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact%5FShee...n%5Femergency/

gives the USDA recommendations for keeping food after a power outage. Of course they are using very conservative guidelines.
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