Monday, April 26, 2010

Freezers and Food Storage

Freezers are a wonderful asset to home food storage.

Many foods can be frozen and stored for later use.
Some examples of foods that freeze well include meat (raw or cooked), bread, tortillas, cheese, many fruits and vegetables, yeast, even chocolate chips!

Look in the frozen foods section of a grocery store to see examples of a wide variety of foods that can be frozen in many different forms.

If you have a garden, summer is a great time to freeze extra produce for use in the winter. If you don't have a garden, you will still be able to find good prices on produce that are in season now. Check grocery stores, farmer's markets and farms or orchards that sell directly to customers.

Food can last quite a while in a freezer and can then be used for ordinary meals year-round. It will also be available in an emergency.

If power is lost, food that is kept in the freezer can still be eaten for 1-2 days. (A full freezer will stay frozen for two days and a half-full freezer will last one day). Obviously, meat would need to be eaten first. A fully stocked deep freeze might hold more than one family could consume in a few days, but there would be plenty to share with friends and neighbors.

In a winter storm or emergency, frozen food could be kept frozen outside.

Food Safety Guidelines:
  • Freezer food may be safely refrozen when power is restored, if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 F or below.
  • As food thaws, separate raw meat products from other items.
  • Refrigerated foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy products should be discarded if power is out more than four hours.
  • Hard or processed cheeses, butter, margarine, peanut butter, jelly, whole fruit or vegetables and vinegar-based salad dressings should be safe.
The "Food Safety Guidelines" are taken from an Emergency Preparedness pamphlet published by The Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee in the greater Kansas City area. Click here for a link to their website.

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