Food Safety Issues/food safety


I discovered that my chest freezer became unplugged. I'm guessing 1 to 2 days.  The food is cold but thawed.  My 22 lb turkey registered 29 degress with a meat thermometer.  Is it safe to refreeze to cook for Christmas dinner?

Hi Elaine,

The general rule of thumb for foods that have been discovered in a non-working freezer is if ice crystals are still present the food is safe to refreeze. The presence of ice crystals indicates that the food did not go over 40 degrees F or refrigerator temperature.

Since you say your turkey was 29 degrees, this is below freezing and probably was still quite frozen in the middle of the bird.  If this is the case, the bird is safe to refreeze and cook for Christmas dinner.  

Here's a website that deals with power outages and food that you may find helpful:

Happy Holidays.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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