So many times when we leave our vacation homes, we do so knowing that we will be returning in a few weeks or a few months. Oftentimes, we leave food remaining in the fridge or freezer simply because it just doesn’t make sense to throw out this longer shelf life foodstuff and repurchase it every time we come over. Not only is this wasteful but it can also be quite expensive and time consuming especially when we would rather spend our time doing more enjoyable activities. The problem is that we never really know if our stored cold food is still really safe to eat. How do we really know, when the power went out during our absence that our food did not thaw or warm to unsafe temperatures and then re-freeze or re-cool once power was restored? How do we know if the blinking lights on all of our clocks represent a short term or long term power outage? Do we really want to risk any form of foodborne illness or poisoning? Can you imagine how any of these unknown events would impact your vacation and your health?

According to the USDA

During a power outage, a refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if the door is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours while a half full freezer will only last about 24 hours.

The USDA also cautions against relying upon odor or appearance to determine food safety and never taste food to determine its safety. Pathogenic bacteria can easily develop which does not result in a change in odor or appearance which is why it is critical to know if your food has been exposed to unsafe temperatures. Many perishable food items need to be discarded if they’ve been above 40 °F for more than 2 hours. Power outages caused by severe storms, high winds and ice/snow buildup can certainly last considerably longer than 4 hours potentially putting all of your refrigerated food at risk.

Cold Storage Monitoring

Lake Chelan HomeWatch utilizes cold storage monitoring technology to keep tabs on what is happening with your fridge and freezer. Upon each inspection, we verify if any temperature breach has occurred since our last visit. If we discover anything suspect, we immediately report our findings to you so that you can decide whether to keep or toss the food. If you decide to throw away any of the food items, we can inventory and replace all of the perished items under our Concierge Service.

Why take a chance on leaving your home alone when so much can happen while you are gone. Just like teenagers left alone for very long, your home too can have many unanticipated problems. Although we are unable to solve your unattended teenager problems, we can at least give you Peace of Mind when it comes to your unattended home. For more information, please click here to contact us.