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What to toss after a power outage?

I just got my power back after 5 days here in CT and while the contents of the freezer remained solid, my refridgerator came up to room temperature which was 48-50 degrees. I am going to be in clean-up mode this weekend and I am wondering what has to be thrown out.

Do I really need to toss everything? Can I keep my eggs, ketchup, sricha, milk and jelly? Does anyone have a good source of info on this?

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  1. There's another thread about ketchup - it will be ok, as will the sricha but I would toss the milk. I don't refrigerate eggs but I think different 'rules' apply in the US (I am in the UK). I would mainly rely on the smell test, if it smells bad, chuck it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pj26

      When in doubt....throw it out.........

    2. Yep, when in doubt, throw it out! Definitely toss the milk!! I'd toss the eggs, too. As for condiments with vinegar or high sugar content, I wouldn't worry about those.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wyogal

        absolutely no need to toss the eggs - they don't require refrigeration to begin with.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/f...:
          "Why should eggs be refrigerated?
          Temperature fluctuation is critical to safety. With the concern about Salmonella, eggs gathered from laying hens should be refrigerated as soon as possible. After eggs are refrigerated, they need to stay that way. A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the movement of bacteria into the egg and increasing the growth of bacteria. Refrigerated eggs should not be left out more than 2 hours."

          1. re: wyogal

            to each her own. for years i've been buying refrigerated eggs from the store and keeping them out on the counter, and i'm still here to talk about it. some earlier CH discussion/debate about it if you're interested:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602589
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/300317

            i think they key point in your quote from the USDA is the comment about Salmonella. if your eggs are from a reputable source, it's not much of a concern, and if the eggs are cooked properly, you kill the Salmonella.

      2. what osprey said....do NOT screw around with this! How come you're tossing stuff now? Pretty sure it all went bad by Monday

        5 Replies
        1. re: BiscuitBoy

          She said she just got her power back. She's probably had more pressing things to deal with the last few days in that case.

          1. re: writergeek313

            yeah, so did I, still do...a stanky, fanky fridge&freezer came real close to the top of my list

            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              I think it would be impossible for a fridge to become stanky, fanky in a day and a half and to be perfectly honest, it was more important to deal with the trees across the driveway and heating issues than a few spoiled items in my fridge.

              Thanks so much for your input.

          2. re: BiscuitBoy

            Without knowing everything in the fridge, I wouldn't say it would ALL go bad, there is a few threads on this board around keeping things in the fridge, and some of the time it's not always necessary e.g. jams, dressings (unless they are egg based), chutneys, relishes etc would be ok, even some veges that may have been kept in the fridge could be fine - tossing everything is just wasteful.

            1. re: pj26

              Thanks PJ26, this is pretty much along the lines of what I was thinking.

          3. When my fridge broke a few weeks ago I threw out everything except for condiments.

            1. My power in MA was out 107 hours, returning Thursday morning. The house temp hovered around 50 degrees. I did not open the fridge AT ALL during those long, cold hours. The freezer compartment was 90% packed. The fridge compartment was pretty full too, mostly with condiments and winter vegetables. To my great relief, I didn't lose anything. The opened-last-Wednesday half&half was sour but would have been anyway. The roast chicken and stuffing, made last Wednesday, still smelled fine (I have now put it in the freezer). Yesterday I ate the crab spread and two different home-made soups, one sausage/cabbage/apple, the other chicken/corn/cheese/barley. They tasted fine and I have had no GI upset. I am frugal, and a big believer in keeping the immune system challenged, so I regularly consume on-the-verge-of-spoilt foods. Though I think this gives me an edge, the fridge contents this time were not even close to that precipice. As for the freezer, ice cubes were only slightly melting. A small container of juice at the front was thawed but cold. The raw meats were all far back in the compartment and surronded by bagged veggies and cooked foods so I will not hesitate to thaw and use the re-frozen contents. The meat might suffer a bit in texture but will not be unsafe.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greygarious

                The "smell test" is not reliable. And frugality has nothing to do with safety issues.