Emergency careWhen you know or suspect that power will be off in your house, set the freezer control to between -10 degrees F and -20 degrees F immediately. The colder the freezer and foods, the longer foods stay frozen.
Do not open the freezer if power fails or a mechanical failure occurs. Opening the door will hasten thawing of foods. With the door closed, food will usually stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer about two days. Exactly how long food in a freezer will stay frozen depends on:
If power will not be back on for several days, use dry ice to keep the temperature below freezing and to prevent spoilage of frozen foods. Dry ice may be available from a local dairy or freezer locker plant. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep the temperature of food in a full 20-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for three to four days and in a half full freezer for two or three days.
Place dry ice on boards or heavy cardboard on top of the packages, and do not open the freezer unless necessary. Do not handle dry ice with bare hands because it can cause burns. When using dry ice, the room should be well ventilated.
Locate a commercial freezer locker plant and move foods there in insulated boxes if you cannot get dry ice or if the freezer will be out of commission for more than three to four days.
It is always a good idea to be prepared for emergencies before they occur. Locate a source of dry ice and a freezer locker plant in your community before a freezer failure occurs.
RefreezingIn general, food can safely be refrozen only if it still contains ice crystals or if it has been at refrigerator temperature (40 degrees F) for no longer than two days. In addition, use the following guidelines
Refreeze partially thawed foods quickly by setting the temperature control of your freezer to the coldest position. More care should be taken with foods that have partially thawed and been refrozen because they deteriorate faster. Label containers as "Refrozen" and use as soon as possible.
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 09:22 AM