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Help & Advice: What to Do With Food During a Freezer Breakdown

What to Do With Food During a Freezer Breakdown

Picture the scene: you’ve just come home after a long day at work, you go into the freezer to find something quick to cook for dinner and discover it’s broken down completely. Now, all your food is at risk of spoiling which, aside from being massively inconvenient, is an expensive and wasteful situation, so you must act quickly.

Of course, the first thing you should do is arrange the necessary freezer repairs with a trusted appliance expert, like the team here at Pacifica. But what should you do while you’re waiting for an engineer to arrive? We’re here to help with this comprehensive guide.

How long will food last without power in the freezer?

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, the good news is that freezers and fridge freezers will keep food cold for longer than you might think. Assuming the door is kept closed, frozen food will usually 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. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of your freezer, and how much food is inside; the more full a freezer is, the longer the food will stay frozen.

When to save frozen food and when to throw it out

In health terms, your food should be fine if it has been kept below 4°C. If you suspect the temperature went above this for any measure of time, you should check all of the food. If ice crystals are visible or the food feels properly cold, it can generally be refrozen. However, it’s important to exercise caution when it comes to perishables like meat and dairy; if you’re in any doubt at all, then you should throw them out – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If your food has thawed completely or the temperature of your freezer has been at 4°C or more for over two hours, you should throw it out, or cook it immediately if it isn’t a ‘cook-from-frozen’ meal. Also, if your food looks or smells unusual, it’s best to not take the risk and just discard it – food poisoning is the last thing you want to be dealing with.

Freezer breakdown: what you can do

To help minimise the effects of a freezer breakdown, you should start by rearranging the items inside; when all of the food is closely packed together, this mimics the effect of an ice block and helps to keep everything colder for longer.

If you’ve been able to dash out and buy a few freezer boxes or bags, you can transfer food to these as a temporary solution. Also, adding bagged ice cubes from the supermarket can help to slow the temperature rise and buy some valuable time.

Freezer breakdown: what we can do

If your freezer has broken down, the first action you should take is to call an appliance repair expert. It’s important to choose a company that promises prompt service as the sooner your repair is carried out, the more chance you have of saving your food. Here at Pacifica, we prioritise timely service, with same and next-day repairs available. What’s more, our team is located up and down the country, so no matter where you live, there should always be a locally-based engineer close by to help.

If your freezer has broken down and you’re in a race against time to prevent your food from thawing, get in touch with the team at Pacifica. We repair all major brands and our experts will be on hand in no time to get your appliance back up and running again – contact us to find out more or to arrange a freezer repair.

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