Hurricane Harvey and Irma have wrought misery along the gulf coast and east coast of the USA over recent days. While there are many important questions that Texas and Florida residents will be asking, whether or not the food in the fridge is still safe to eat is definitely one worth adding to the list.
Because people who evacuate are gone (naturally), it is difficult to know whether the power went out. Even if the fridge is cool upon your return, it’s still tough to say whether or not the food didn’t heat up to room temperature during an outage and cool back down again after the power came back. If food in refrigerators or freezers heats up to room temperature, even if it does cool back down, there is certainly a risk of food borne illness, and that stuff can make a person seriously sick.
That’s where this handy penny trick comes into play. Next time you have to leave your home for any extended amount of time, simply freeze a cup of water, place a penny on top, and put it in the freezer.
If the water remains frozen, the penny will stay on top. If the penny sinks into the cup, you know that temperatures in your freezer have risen and there may be harmful bacteria in your food. Use this trick next time you have to leave your home for a while, and save yourself the headache (and maybe some serious health issues too). Who said pennies are worthless?
h/t: Mental Floss