The Saskatchewan Health Authority is giving out tips for people to keep their food safe even if a power outage happens.

Residents should take extra precautions to ensure frozen or refrigerated food is safe after a power outage. The Saskatchewan Health Authority released the following recommendations to ensure food safety following a power outage.​

Refrigerated Foods

Potentially hazardous foods that are above 4°C (40°F) for more than two hours should be discarded.

Frozen Foods

  • Frozen Foods should be kept at -18°C (0°F). Frozen, partially thawed, or thawed foods below 4°C (40°F) can be prepared and consumed.
  • Discard thawed vegetables, fish, shellfish, ice cream, and frozen foods because bacteria multiply rapidly in these foods.
  • Partially thawed foods that still contain ice crystals can be safely refrozen.  However partial thawing and refreezing reduces the quality of most foods.
  • Discard any food items with an unusual colour or odour. Remember that contaminated or hazardous foods may not look or smell bad so other precautions should be followed.

Disposal of Food

When in doubt, throw it out!

If food must be thrown away, document the type and amount of food and the reason for disposal, so that you can provide the information to your insurance company.

​Cleaning of Refrigerators and Freezers

If food has spoiled or leaked, refrigerators and freezers should be cleaned and sanitized after discarding food to prevent cross-contamination of new food.  The following steps will help keep the new food safe:

  1. Empty food from the unit and discard as recommended above;
  2. Wash the interior of the unit and racks with warm water and detergent;
  3. Sanitize the interior of the unit and racks with a solution of household bleach and water (one (1) tablespoon of bleach in six (6) cups of water—solution can be applied with a spray bottle.
  4. Let sanitizing solution stand for 45 seconds and then wipe dry with a clean cloth; and,
  5. Restock the unit once it has reached proper temperatures:
    1. 4°C (40°F) for refrigerators
    2. -18°C (0°F) for freezers.

Remember: DO NOT mix bleach with any other cleaning product!  Leftover bleach solution should be poured down the drain of a sink.

Advice for Public Facilities

Recovery requirements for food safety at public food facilities (including restaurants, grocery stores, daycares, schools, and other public facilities) have specific requirements under regulation. Public facility owner/operators are encouraged to contact their local public inspection office for advice.