Power is out and so is the food in our fridge…

So it was a great ol’ week for Toronto wasn’t it?

Torrential rains caused flooding both from rising waters and leaky roofs. That also meant a major power outage for many people in the city and surrounding areas including us for just under 48 hours.

Heavy Rains Flood Toronto

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After living at the schoolhouse for so long a couple of days with no TV aren’t the end of the world. But it generally means it is time to clean out the fridge and freezer if it has been off for too long.

By not opening the fridge or freezer we managed to save a lot but when I started looking at expiry dates and old branding on labels I thought it might be time to do a purge anyway. How long has it been since Dave was the President at Loblaws exactly?

Toronto Public Health provides some solid common sense on its website. If it looks or smells weird get rid of it.

Food Safety at Home – Floods and Power Outages

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also mentions on its website that if an impending outage is coming, set your fridge at 4 degrees Celsius and your freezer to     -18 degrees Celsius to help keep things on ice until the lights come on.

Food Safety in an Emergency

This was the first time we’ve had a long outage with a fridge that has its own ice maker. Guess what happens? The ice melts and the cats get their own wading pool in the kitchen.

So what do you do if you aren’t at home for a few days and the power has been out. Is the food ok? I don’t know how scientific this is but it makes sense to me: fill a water bottle half-full (or half-empty depending on your outlook on life) and freeze it. When the water is completely frozen, turn it upside down and leave it. If you come home and the ice or water is now at the opposite end of the bottle then your freezer was warm enough to thaw out and drop and its likely the food needs to go and feed the bears at the dump. (Thanks to Heather for that trick. You know who you are!)

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