Federal Food Safety Guidelines

Has your fridge or freezer turned off and the food is still inside? Apply the golden rule for food safety: "If In Doubt, Throw It Out." Below are general food safety and cleaning tips from the government's food safety guidelines.

Food Safety Recommendations

  1. Partial thawing and refreezing will reduce the quality of foods, particularly in fruits, vegetables and prepared foods. It is considered a safe practice to refreeze foods that have partially thawed, if the foods still contain visible ice crystals. But not refreeze frozen food that has fully thawed.
  2. Meats and meat products are unsafe to eat when they begin to spoil. If the color or odor of the thawed product is questionable, get rid of it!
  3. Do not use or eat ice cream or ice milk after the product has melted.

Canned Goods

  1. Canned goods should be edible. Simply wash your canned and bottled goods in hot soapy water or disinfect the exterior in a solution of 3 tablespoons of household bleach to 1 gallon of water.
  2. If labels come off, be sure you mark the contents on the can or jar with a grease pencil.
  3. Do not use canned goods when the cans have bulged or the can is dented or rusted.

Removing Odors From Your Refrigerator or Freezer

  1. Wash inside with a solution of baking soda and water
  2. Or use 1 cup of vinegar or household ammonia to 1 gallon or water
  3. Baking soda in an open container, or a piece of charcoal can be placed in refrigerator or freezer to absorb odors


When cleaning or discarding any refrigerator or freezer, be sure the doors are removed or secured so that the door cannot close on a young child!

Additional Information