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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Food Safety

Frozen Food Tips

Frozen Food Tips

Frozen food has many advantages but for safety's sake it must be handled properly. Unless certain rules are observed, the safety as well as the quality of the food will be affected.

The following points are given for your guidance so that you will get the best from your frozen food:

A common misconception

'Freezing kills bacteria such as Salmonella species' - false. Freezing stops the bacteria from growing but when thawed, the bacteria start growing again.

When shopping, buy frozen food last so you can get it into the freezer quickly.

Store the food according to the manufacturers instructions on the packet, having regard to the 'star' system for freezers and food.

In refrigerators, the frozen food compartments will often operate to the 'star' system.
One-star frozen food compartments operate at -6ºC (21ºF)
Two-star frozen food compartments operate at -12ºC (10ºF)
Three-star frozen food compartments operate at -18ºC (0ºF)

Food freezers operate between -18ºC (0ºF) and -25ºC (-13ºF)

Keep the food in its original wrapper until used.

If you freeze food yourself, label and date it, so you know what it is and when to use it.

In the event of a power cut, keep the door closed.

To maintain proper temperatures in the freezer, defrost the freezer in accordance with manufacturers instructions.

Unless you want a freezer full of water, don't let ice build up over the edges of the door/lid. It will stop the door/lid closing properly.

Do not re-freeze food once thawed - bacteria will have started to grow in the food.

This is not a statement of the law and is for guidance only, subject to periodic review. Should you require more advice for your own business and any other matters relating to food safety and hygiene you should contact your area environmental health officer.