For commercial kitchens a freezer breakdown can have severe consequences, affecting both customer service and profits. Stock contained within the broken freezer must be assessed for safety and disposed of if unsafe to eat.
But how can you tell what should be thrown away, and what can be reused?
If you know that the refrigeration has only just failed, eg: a loss of power or you are onsite at the time of failure, you can follow these steps to help prevent stock loss:
Keep the door to the refrigeration unit closed
Food in a freezer can remain frozen for 24 hours or more – the fuller the freezer, the longer the contents will remain frozen
If you don't know how long ago the refrigeration failed follow these steps:
If the temperature of the food is above 8°C, dispose of the food.
If the temperature of the food is 8°C or less, treat it as defrosted food. Date label for 2 days, move to a fridge and use within the 2 days.
If your power has been cut off, our advice on food in your fridge or freezer is:
If your fridge has not been working for more than four hours, throw away the food inside.
Throw away ice cream if it has gone soft.
Meat and fish that are still below 8°C can be cooked and refrozen, or cooked and eaten.
Make sure that you have thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer. That’s the best way to be sure that your food is safe.
And of course, with Food Safe System we have you covered, with automatic monitoring and recording of your fridge, freezer and storage temperatures, you will get an immediate alert as soon as the temperature starts to fall outside of normal limits, giving you precious time to resolve the problem and save your stock.