Most refrigerators are set at 40 degrees. Food expert Steve Stogdill said most foods will go bad if not kept at 40 degrees for more than twi hours.
He has one simple recommendation:
“Don't be of the mindset that 'Oh, I don't want to waste something.' You may not waste it, but you may be sick later and that’s more wasteful of your time," he said.
He said if you question it, don't risk it.
And never taste test anything to determine if it's still worth eating.
"Tuna salad goes. Chicken salad, that goes," Stogdill said as he showed us his refrigerator full of homemade food.
It's a fine line when it comes to refrigerated foods but it's a whole different ballgame for frozen foods.
"Things in the freezer, they'll have a better longevity,"
A little more leeway when it comes to those frozen meats and meals.
As long as the frozen items still have ice crystals, you're in the clear - but once that frozen food fully defrosts you have to be very careful what you consume.
"You got to use a good head, don't be afraid to be conservative, and it's not worth getting sick," Stogdill said.
There are items you can hold onto for a longer period of time after the power goes out. Things such as bread, apples, celery, and most produce will stay safe out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
If a power outage happens again, it’s smart to keep coolers on hand to store food.
Experts said even a cardboard box filled with ice can be very insulating for many more hours than your refrigerator or freezer once the power goes out.
I&M outage numbers
As many as 67,000 customers in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana
experienced service interruptions because of the storm. As of 9 p.m.
Tuesday, a total of 25,000 customers are awaiting restoration of service.
About 4,500 remaining in St. Joseph County
About 700 remaining in Elkhart County
About 700 remaining in LaPorte County
About 8,200 remaining in Berrien County
About 7,500 remaining in Van Buren County
About 2,500 remaining in Cass County
About 800 remaining in St. Joseph County
About 300 remaining in Kalamazoo County
About 100 remaining in Allegan County