31 March 2011

What to do with food during a freezer breakdown

A question we often get asked when we get a booking for a freezer repair is ‘what do I do with all my food?’ well, you’ll be happy to know freezers and fridge freezers will keep food cold for quite a while after shutting down.

Assuming you keep the door closed, frozen food usually will keep for around 4-6 hours in a refrigerator, 1-2 days in a combined fridge freezer, 2-3 days in an upright freezer and 3-4 days in a chest freezer. The more full a freezer is, the longer the food will stay frozen.

If you’ve been able to dash out and buy a few freezer boxes or bags, you should be OK too. Adding bagged ice cubes from the supermarket, or any type of food like a chicken that is full of frozen water will help a lot too.

In health terms, your food should be fine if it has been kept BELOW 40 degrees. If you suspect it got above 40 degrees for a measure of time, you need to check all the food. If ice crystals are visible, or the food feels properly cold, in general it can be refrozen again. If the food thawed completely or was above 40 degrees for more than two hours, throw it out, or cook it immediately if it isn’t a ‘cook from frozen’ meal.


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