What Temperature Should My Freezer Be At?
Your freezer’s main job is to keep all your food fresh for longer, so it’s important to make sure it’s set to the right temperature. If it’s too warm, food won’t last as long as it should, though, if it’s too cold ice can build up and ruin fresh food.
To check the temperature of your freezer, it’s best to use a thermostat. Most do come with their own but it’s best to have one just in case.
The ideal temperature of your freezer is around -18’c. This will safely store all your food and will keep pesky bacteria away.
A good way to measure the temperature in your freezer is to put your thermometer in between two frozen bags of vegetables or something similar. Then, check it after around 8 hours of the door being closed.
If you find that you do have the change the temperature, it’s important to remember that it can take around 24 hours for the temperature to fully change.
How Long Will A Freezer Last Without Power?
If you find yourself without power, you may be wondering what you can do with all the food you have stored in your freezer. Most models will keep their temperature for about a day, but any longer than that you may have to start thinking about having a bit of a clear out.
One important thing to remember is to keep the freezer door closed as much as possible, so you can prevent warm air from getting into the freezer cavity. Though, some models do have a power failure safety feature, which will keep your food frozen for at least 24 hours, so you won’t have to worry about your food ruining. You may also want to buy some ice to try and keep your food cool for as long as possible.
What Happens To My Food When I Have A Power Cut?
If your freezer is starting to thaw and you have meat, fish and poultry in it, it’s important to take it out and keep it in a container somewhere cool, away from other food. This will stop any juices from contaminating the other food you’re storing. When the power comes back on, it’s important to check your meat and fish for ice crystals. If there are ice crystals on the food and it feels as cold as it would if you had just come out of the fridge, then it’s safe to refreeze. Though, if it has completely thawed and been at room temperature for over two hours, it’s probably much safer to just get rid. This also goes for meat that’s already been cooked, such as leftovers and ready meals.
If you’ve been storing fruit and veg, they should survive a power cut unharmed. They should be fine whether you've frozen them yourself or they've come commercially packaged. You might find that they've changed slightly in texture and flavour, but they should be absolutely fine to cook and eat. It's always best to go with your instinct though, so if you start to smell mould or they look slimy, it’s time to throw them out.
Most of your bread and pastry should be completely safe to refreeze, whether it's thawed out completely or still partially frozen. Bread usually fares a little better than pastry when it’s refrozen, and will be fine to toast or thaw out for sandwiches. Some ready-made dough may lose it’s texture slightly when it’s refrozen but should still be safe to eat. The only time to consider throwing away your ready-made bread and pastries is if they have a dairy filling such as cheese, cream or custard. It’s just better to be safe than sorry.