With all the excitement that comes along with a family vacation, we often forget to worry about something pretty important – the food in the refrigerator. The last thing you want to come home to is a fridge full of spoiled, rotten food after a relaxing trip. You never know what might happen when you’re away. There could be a power outage that compromises your food, and you have no way of knowing. The next time you plan a family getaway, there’s a trick you can use to help keep your family safe.

Food Safety Tip

Sheila Pulanco Russell shared the brilliant idea on Facebook. All you need is a quarter and some tap water. Sheila wrote, “I just heard a great tip. It’s called the ‘One Cup Tip.’ You put a cup of water in your freezer. Freeze it solid and then put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer.”

It may sound silly, but using this trick before you leave home for an extended period of time definitely has its benefits!

Sheila shared, “When you come back after you’ve been evacuated you can tell if your food went completely bad and just re-froze, or if it stayed frozen while you were gone. If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup that means all the food defrosted and you should throw it out. But if the quarter is either on the top or in the middle of the cup then your food may still be ok.”

She continued, “It would also be a great idea to leave this in your freezer all the time and if you lose power for any reason you will have this tip to fall back on. If you don’t feel good about your food, just throw it out. The main thing is for all to be safe.”

This trick gives you a way to tell whether or not your home lost power while you were away and if the food in your refrigerator is safe to eat!

According to the FDA, “refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut.” The FDA also recommends throwing out any perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers that has been at temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for one hours or more.

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