Don’t Put Food Outside If Your Freezer Loses Power, Says USDA

As chilly temperatures sweep the nation, you may be tempted to put your food out in snowy conditions to keep them safe, while your power is out; but the USDA is saying it’s not a good idea.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has a long list of reasons why you shouldn’t put your food outside:  The sun’s rays could thaw out the food even though it’s below freezing outside.

Temperatures could vary during the day and night causing the food not to be safe.  This is why a secured cooler might work.  But it might not.

Food stored outside could be exposed to unsanitary conditions and animals – which could carry bacteria or disease.

For a full list of helpful tips on what to do with your food, if you lose power – or if you need to know what to throw away or keep, go to


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