Freezing food safely
Freezing food safely

Freezing is a simple and a cost-effective way to store both perishable and pre-prepared food.

  • For food to be frozen safely for long periods of time, the freezer must maintain a temperature of -18°C. While the food is safe to eat when stored at this temperate, the quality will deteriorate over time.
  • As many home freezers are not able to consistently maintain a temperature of -18°C – often because the door is opened letting in warmer air – it’s recommended that you keep frozen food for shorter periods of time
  • By freezing food you prevent the growth of micro-organisms (bacteria, yeasts, moulds) while the food is frozen. Once the food thaws, these micro-organisms can begin to grow again.
  • Food that has been thawed once, should never be refrozen.

Safe defrosting:

  • In an ideal world, it’s best to plan ahead and defrost food in the refrigerator to avoid the possibility of bacterial growth. Small items will usually defrost overnight, but larger items may take a day or two.
  • If you defrost food in the microwave, bu sure to use the food immediately as the microwave heats items unevenly and you may find that the defrosted food actually has a few cooked patches throughout.
  • Try to avoid defrosting food on the kitchen bench as the warmer air temperature will allow microbes to become active as they defrost.
  • Try to avoid defrosting fruits and vegetable as they have a tendency to collapse as they thaw.

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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health and CSIRO’s Food Science

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