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Food safety tips as power outages turn off fridges and freezers across Texas

What food can you safely eat from your fridge during a power outage, and when's it time to throw it out? Here's what the experts recommend.

SAN ANTONIO — As power continues to be shut off for millions of Texans, food is one of the biggest concerns. With it being “slim pickins” for so many across the state right now, we asked the experts -- what's in your fridge that's still good, what's in there that could give you some nutrition, and what’s in the pantry that could give you that extra ounce of energy you've needed?

Jan Tilley, a registered dietitian recommends plenty of fats and proteins.

“Of course, peanut butter is always a staple,” Tilley said. “It gives you energy and a lot of fat.”

When digging through your pantry, it’s time to budge and look out for your health. Tilley says you could benefit from the unordinary food items in there.

“People are kind of hesitant to do canned fruits but they’re very nutritious and have lots of value,” Tilley said. “It has a lot of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals that are going to help you stay healthy during this crazy winter.”

How about the cold food in your fridge, or snow? Is it still edible? Dr. Leile King Peterson says it depends on the temperature inside your fridge.

“If the temperature is below 40 they are safe, Peterson said. “Usually after 4 hours of power outage that temperature will increase.”

“Bacteria can grow in short of 90 minutes, and so you really want to be careful with food that’s been above 40 degrees for more than two hours,” Peterson said.

That means leftovers, too! Peterson says when in doubt, throw it out.

“Any of that food can grow bacteria and can cause different issues. It would depend on what food item, and what bacteria.”

Staying hydrated is also incredibly important.

“Hydration is such an important key because water is not readily available. So hopefully, you have some bottled water,” Tilley said. “You can do sparkling water; it also keeps you hydrated.”