Here’s a low-tech solution for a first-world problem


Winter is here, and so is the possibility of power outages due to ice storms in my area.  When the power goes off just just an hour or so, you’re pretty sure the stuff in your freezer is still okay, but what if the power is out for most of a day or more?  If you’d rather not just routinely chuck out everything in your freezer every time there’s an outage, the Spoiler Alert from The Container Store will tell you if you’re safe to use the food.  You simply shake the Spoiler Alert, turn it upside down, then freeze it for 24-48 hours.  After that, you turn it right-side-up, and it’s ready to let you know how many days you have to safely consume the food in the freezer.  If only the blue section thaws and runs into the bottom compartment, you have 2 weeks to use the food; if the red has melted, you’ve gotta throw it all away.  The Spoiler Alert can be used over and over again; simply go through the freezing process to “reset” it.  It’s out of stock online, but you can pick it up in your local Container Store for $12.99 (currently on sale for $9.74).

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4 comments… add one
  • Julie Strietelmeier December 23, 2013, 1:24 pm

    Before we got our generator, it was a 1-2 times per year happening for us to have to dump our freezer due to the powering going out. I would have loved one of these gadgets!

  • Andrew Baker December 23, 2013, 1:54 pm

    I’m going to get this. We have a beach house that is pron to power outages. I placed an old digital clock on the fridge so we could know if the power went out. However it does not tell us how LONG the power was out. Since it might be 1-2 weeks or even a month between a family member using it, we often error on the side of caution and always dump the contents of the freezer if the clock is blinking. This can get expensive. Knowing if the power outage actually caused a problem would be great.


  • Lex December 24, 2013, 6:42 am

    Great product idea. A low-tech tip is to put one ice cube in a zip loc bag. You can tell at a glance if the freezer has thawed.

  • Robert Grenader December 25, 2013, 10:55 am

    Man, if you have enough power outages to need one of these, time to move somewhere more dependable.

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