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How long can you leave food out of the freezer?

(6 Posts)
kid Fri 04-Feb-05 20:46:55

I'm not sure how long it is okay to have food out of a fridge / freezer and still be able to keep it. I have to exchange my new fridge freezer but from emptying the one being returned and being able to use the new one will be 5 hours. Do you think the food will be ok? I was thinking about putting it somewhere cold (like the garden). If any food does get wasted, they said they can refund the value.

Spongebob Fri 04-Feb-05 20:52:31

Found this for you...........
In 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
If foods are completely thawed and have warmed above room temperature, foods should not be refrozen. Discard these foods.
Refreeze vegetables only if they contain plenty of ice crystals.
Fruits ferment when they spoil. This is not dangerous, but taste will be unacceptable. Fruit can be refrozen if taste and smell are acceptable, or it can be used in cooking or for making sweet spreads.
Refreeze meat only if it contains ice crystals. When cooked, use in casseroles and similar type dishes to mask any flavor changes. Texture will be affected.
Seafoods containing many ice crystals should be cooked immediately — never refreeze.
Ice cream has air incorporated into it during the freezing process. If thawed, the air escapes and refreezing does not result in an acceptable product. In addition, if ice cream has been at an unsafe temperature long enough, food safety may be a problem.
Note: Defrosted low-acid foods such as vegetables, seafood, meat, poultry and pre-cooked dishes may spoil without having a distinct odor. If refrozen and cooked, they could be dangerous. Do not try to save these foods.
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.

kid Fri 04-Feb-05 21:02:45

thanks Spongebob, I know to check the ice crystals then.
Plus I'll try to use up loads of freezer food and just buy it as we need it. I'd hate to poison the kids, DH would be fine, he eats anything!

JanH Fri 04-Feb-05 21:06:36

kid, have you got a coolbox? If you have, and some icepacks, put them in the old freezer and turn it on full to freeze everything as much as poss, and then put the food in the bottom of the box and the icepacks on top. It's what I do to defrost my freezer and it's fine for a few hours.

If you haven't got one I would buy one anyway, they are dead useful!

kid Fri 04-Feb-05 22:07:33

I don't have an icebox.
How about if we turn the freezer we are using at the moment to its coldest temperature and then put the food in the garden while we are waiting to use the new one? Do we have to have it on for 3 hours before putting food in it, or do you think putting it on fast freeze would be ok?
Its a big inconvenience but a fridge's door isn't straight so thats not much good!

kid Fri 04-Feb-05 22:08:41

don't have a coolbox I mean!

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