What do I do when my freezer stops?
Generally, a fully loaded, non-functioning freezer will stay cold enough to keep foods frozen for two days if not opened. In a freezer with less than half a load, food will remain frozen for about one day. If power fails or the freezer stops due to mechanical failure, keep the freezer closed except when adding dry ice. If normal operation cannot be resumed before the foods start to thaw, use dry ice or move foods to a locker plant.
Dry ice: Place the dry ice on cardboard or small boards on top of packages. Do not open freezer except to put in more dry ice or to remove it when normal operation is resumed.
Locker plant: If it is necessary to move the food to a locker plant, use insulated boxes, blankets, or thick layers of paper to prevent thawing. Food which has been moved to the locker plant should be chilled to 0 degrees F. before moving again.
Refer to GH 1506 "Freezer Problem Solver" for information on refreezing food.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional
Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009