Living out in the country has its disadvantages as well as many advantages. Being on an REA can fall into either category. Even living in town and being on a municipal energy grid could have its disadvantages. Electricity has been known to go out when major storms hit an area, a transformer blows, or for many other reasons. With the holidays coming up and lots of us traveling, this could be a major problem. Not only could pipes freeze and break, but the food in your freezer(s) could thaw out and spoil. True, the little blinking PF on kitchen appliances would tell you the electricity was off, but not for how long. If it was off for a long length of time, the food may have thawn, spoiled and then refroze. This could be very hazardous to your health and life. What to do?
Freeze a cup or glass of water in your freezer. Place a coin, such as a quarter, on top of the ice and return it to the freezer. When you get back home, check the location of the coin. If it is on the bottom of the cup and the ice has refrozen, you will know that the food was unrefrigerated while you were away and is not safe to eat. It can go either way if the coin is found in the middle of the refrozen glass or cup. You choose as to keep or toss the food. What you want is to find the coin on top of the ice as you left it.
No cost for the peace of mind this trick provides.
Keep your fork