Been through a couple of power outages. How’s my food?

The outages were about 8 hours, then power was back for about 9 hours, then the second outage clocking in at at least 11 hours.

I’m particularly interested in the milk and the pasta sauce I made that contains, among other things, canned stewed tomatoes, ground beef, and some dairy (cheese and sour cream). I’m going to the store after work tonight, so knowing if I should or have to replace anything would be ideal.

You’re going to get different advice, but to me it just isn’t worth it. Let’s say you eat the dairy containing items and they’re ok. Yeah, minor win for you in the game of life. Let’s say you eat it and then end up on the crapper for an extended period of time. Big loss for you.

I think milk will be fine if it tastes fine. I think the pasta sauce would be fine if you put it on the stove and simmer it for 10 minutes or so.

I think you’ll be fine.

Pro-Tip: When the power is out, store your stuff in a cooler outside (if its cold enough, usually is when the power is out). People never think of that.

Use the old smell test. If it smells off, throw it out. I’m pretty sure you need new milk. Milk starts degrading the minute the cow releases it. There are plenty of ways to slow the process. But even kept very cold milk will still go bad.

What if I just put a portion onto the pasta and microwave it? I’m the only one eating it, and I made it to have for multiple meals.

I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think a few minutes in the microwave are enough to kill all potential bacteria. I’m pretty sure 10 minutes on the stove at a simmer temperature is enough.

It’s totally up to you to risk it, but how many $$ is having to deal with an upset stomach or worse worth to you? IMO, the sour cream is the kicker in the sauce. You can’t really tell if it’s gone off or not. And the milk, toss it, especially if you look and it’s separated.

That short a time, in a refrigerator? I wouldn’t think twice about using it. This is the freezer compartment, not the fridge, but I recently had a 3 day outage and there was still ice in the freezer when the power came back.

Right, but does that run afoul of the “don’t reheat and cool multiple times” rule?

Did you open the refrigerator door at all while the power was out?

For the milk, the smell test (and taste test, if you think you need to) is the be-all, end-all. “Spoiled” milk isn’t actually dangerous; it just (sometimes) tastes bad (and sometimes tastes delicious, if you “spoil” it correctly).

For the meat in the pasta sauce, there might be a problem. It’s not just a matter of killing any bacteria that might be in it; while the bacteria were alive, they might have produced toxins that would remain even after they themselves are dead.

And you didn’t mention eggs, but if you were wondering about them, too, they’re definitely fine. Americans are paranoid about eggs, but they can go just fine for weeks, even without refrigeration.

Nope, kept closed even during the uptime.

You might want to make a thaw detector for your freezer… half-fill a small tupperware container with water, freeze it, then drop a penny on top of the ice, put the lid back on and put it in the freezer. If you come back from a trip and the penny’s on the bottom of the ice, that’s not good.

You’re Golden!