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Power Outage? How Long Food Will Last

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By Max Cole

Meat, dairy, and other perishable foods are the first to go and health officials say they should be thrown out after four hours without refrigeration.

Jack Guzewich with the Food and Drug Administration says even condiments can go bad.

"Some of the salad dressings and pickles and things like that probably will last a little longer, but even those, it's not worth the risk by this length of time since it's been more than 12 hours since they've lost their power for a lot of people," he says.

Guzewich says food stored in freezers can last for up to two days without electricity if the freezer is full and remains closed.

WAMU 88.5

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