Freezers keep food at a temperature well below freezing point (-22°C/-8°F). Freezing denies the bacteria the warmth they need to multiply. The coldness also turns water to ice, denying them the moisture they need.
Some bacteria will die as a result of freezing but others will survive, although unable to grow. They will, however start to multiply again once the food is removed from the freezer and the temperature rises to within the danger zone.
The length of the time food can be stored depends on the type of food. Even though it may not have become contaminated, food can deteriorate in quality if left for too long in the freezer.
You can check what temperature your freezer’s running at by using a freezer thermometer – inexpensive ones are available from many catering suppliers.
Guidelines for freezing
- the temperature should be -22°C (-8°F)
- check the temperature daily
- wrap, label and date food
- store neatly within the freezer. Don’t try to pack too much in.
- Use old stock before new
- know the maximum storage periods for different types of food
This is Chapter Six, Part Nine in a series of articles broadly similar to the course offered by the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health for its Food Hygiene Certificate.
Part Ten: Thawing food
Return to the start of Chapter Six