Keep Your Food Safe During Power Outages

South San Francisco, CA – January 5th, 2023

Press release from the City of South San Francisco

The City of South San Francisco-For Immediate Release

South San Francisco Wants to Remind You How to Keep Your Food Safe During a Power Outage and Flood

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., January 5, 2023 – More than 8,000 households in South San Francisco lost power at some point during the recent storm, and the City of South San Francisco has these tips to help keep your food safe and you safe once your power is restored.

If you are currently without power, here are some helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed
If the doors stay closed, food will stay safe for up to:
Four hours in a refrigerator,
48 hours in a full freeze; 24 hours in a half-full freezer.
If the power has been out for four hours, and a cooler and ice are available, put refrigerated perishable foods in the cooler. To keep them at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, add ice or a cold source like frozen gel packs.

If your power has been restored, here are some helpful tips on what to do after:

Never taste food to determine if it is safe to eat. When in doubt, throw it out.
Throw out perishable food in your refrigerator (meat, fish, cut fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, and leftovers) after 4 hours without power or a cold source like dry ice. Throw out any food with an unusual odor, color, or texture.
Check temperatures of food kept in coolers or your refrigerator with an added cold source. Throw out food above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have an appliance thermometer in your freezer, check to see if it is still at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below
You can safely refreeze or cook thawed frozen food that still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

If you experienced a flood, here are some helpful tips:

Throw away the following foods or food containers:
Food with an unusual odor, color, or texture.
Food in packages that are not waterproof.
Food in cardboard containers, including juice/milk/baby formula boxes.
Food containers with screw caps, snap lids, crimped caps, twist caps, flip tops, and snap tops.
Home-canned foods. They cannot be disinfected.
Canned foods or food containers that are bulging, open, or damaged.

Throw out cans or food containers that spurt liquid or foam when you open them or contain food that is discolored, moldy, or smells bad. When in doubt, throw it out!

Clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces that have been flooded.

Throw out wooden cutting boards, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers if they have come into contact with floodwaters. Sanitizing methods are not effective for removing floodwater contaminants from these items.

Clean and sanitize dishes, utensils, and other surfaces that touch food (like refrigerator drawers or kitchen countertops) in a four-step process:
Wash with hot, soapy water.
Rinse with clean, safe water.
Make a solution of 1 cup (8 oz/240 mL) of unscented household chlorine bleach in 5 gallons of clean water.
Soak items for 1 minute in the beach solution (solution should completely cover the items).
For items that you can’t put in the solution (like countertops), apply solution with a cloth.
Allow to air dry.

About the City of South San Francisco
The City of South San Francisco proudly remains The Industrial City, a reflection of its steel mill and shipbuilding past, redefined to reflect the innovative, entrepreneurial and industrious spirit which has made South San Francisco the Biotech Capital of the World, with over 250 active biotech companies and growing. A vibrant community of 66,185 residents, South San Francisco enjoys a high quality of life with an extensive public parks system, active library and learning programming, and a dynamic, engaged community making South San Francisco a great place to live, learn, work and play.

For more information about the City of South San Francisco, visit

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments