If the power is off and your fridge hasn’t been working for more than four hours, the UK food standards agency recommends throwing away the food inside after this time.
The contents of a freezer can remain frozen for 24 hours or more. However, that depends on how full it is, according to the UK food standards agency. If meat, fish or dairy products or food containing these have started to get soft, the recommendation is to throw them away. Similarly, any food you’d eat frozen such as ice cream should be thrown away.
Keep fridges and freezers closed, and covering them with a blanket to keep them insulated. Check as well with your manufacturer or any information supplied by them as it may give specific times for your white goods.
If you know in advance of a power cut, one option is to turn your freezer to its coldest setting about 12 hours before – but return it to its usual setting once the power is back on. If there is an extended power cut and you have to throw out food, it may be possible to claim against your insurance policy. Consider checking this with your insurer.
However, it’s worth remembering that Guernsey Electricity customers experienced on average just 26 minutes loss of supply in 2015-16. Most modern fridges and freezers can stay cold for significantly longer than this.
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