Weather Wednesday: The Quarter Test

Weather Wednesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Multiple types of weather can leave you in the dark and the refrigerator and freezer powerless. Many keep food in the freezer for a later date, but if the power is out, how long until the food spoils?

The FDA says if a fridge and freezer remains closed, a fridge can keep food safe for about four hours. A freezer unopened in a power outage can last 48 hours, or 24 hours if it is half full.

Another way to check your food is with the quarter test. All you need a cup, quarter and water.

Fill the cup full of water, but not all the way to the top. You will want to leave room for the water to expand as it freezes. Place the cup in the freezer until the water has completely changed over to ice. Once you have the ice, place a quarter on the top of the ice and put the cup back into the freezer.

When a power outage occurs, that’s when you check the quarter’s placement in the cup. If the quarter is towards the top of the cup, then your food should be safe. If you find the quarter at the bottom of the cup, then the food has spoiled and should be thrown away. The tricky spot is the middle. If the quarter is in the middle of the cup, the food could be safe or spoiled. It is a questionable area for food safety, and you will need to check the food before consuming it. Even if the quarter is in the middle, but ice has frozen over the top, the food could still have spoiled.

A graphic explaining the quarter test to check if food is safe after a refrigerator or freezer looses power.

For more on the quarter test, check out the video above.

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