Have you ever come home from vacation, business trip or maybe a weekend away with the family – and noticed your digital clocks flashing the wrong time?
You quickly realize that you had a power outage while you were away, but it’s basically impossible to tell when it occurred or how long it lasted. It’s therefore also impossible to tell just how long the food in your freezer may have thawed, gotten destroyed, and then frozen again.
In connection with Hurricane Matthews which swept over parts of the United States in 2016, a woman named Sheila Pulanco Russell shared a clever trick on her Facebook wall with anyone who was forced to evacuate their home.
But the trick is certainly also good to know in case of any prolonged departure from your home – and will ease your mind about whether or not the food in your freezer is good to eat – or best be thrown out right away.
The trick lies in the magical combination of three simple but effective tools everyone already has at home: a mug, a coin and some tap water.
In a Facebook post which quickly received hundreds of thousands of reactions and shares, Sheila explains how to proceed. She writes:
“For those of you that are evacuating from the coast, I just heard a great tip. It’s called the one cup tip. You put a cup of water in your freezer. Freeze it solid and then put a quarter on top of it and leave it in your freezer. That way when you come back after you’ve been evacuated you can tell if your food went completely bad and just refroze or if it stayed frozen while you were gone.
If the quarter has fallen to the bottom of the cup that means all the food defrosted and you should throw it out. But if the quarter is either on the top or in the middle of the cup then your food may still be ok. It would also be a great idea to leave this in your freezer all the time and if you lose power for any reason you will have this tip to fall back on.