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Factors affecting how long food will stay frozen if you leave the freezer door shut are:

            •Amount of food in the freezer.  Food in a full freezer will stay frozen about two days; food in a freezer that is only half full may stay frozen up to one day.  Keeping containers of ice in a partially filled freezer will help keep other foods in the freezer frozen longer.

            •Kind of food.  A freezer full of meat will not warm up as fast as a freezer full of baked goods.

            •Temperature in the freezer before it quit.  The colder the food, the longer it will stay frozen.

            •Amount of freezer insulation.  Obviously, a well-insulated freezer will keep food frozen much longer than one with little insulation.

            •Size of freezer.  The larger the freezer, the longer the food will stay frozen, particularly if the freezer is full.


If your freezer will be off longer than the 1 to 2 days the frozen food will remain frozen, you can extend that time by several methods.
            --Wrap the freezer with crumpled newspapers and then blankets. Don't cover the air vents in case the freezer begins operating.
            --Use dry ice to keep the temperature low. Place heavy cardboard over packages of frozen food; put the dry ice on top of the cardboard. Then keep your freezer closed. Be careful when using dry ice; wear gloves so that it won't burn your hands, and keep the room ventilated.
            --Run the freezer on a small generator for 30 to 60 minutes twice a day.

            If food is safe to eat, it is safe to refreeze; if ice crystals remain in food, it is usually safe to refreeze it although there will be changes in the texture, flavor, and color and the nutritional value may be lower.
            A common myth is that food must be cooked before it is refrozen. Frozen food will be of higher quality longer if it is not cooked (except for blanching vegetables). Cooked food can become unsafe faster if it is mishandled during thawing and preparation.


REFERENCE:  Colorado State University Extension Service




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Last modified: 07/15/2013