A guide to freezing food

The ability to freeze food has revolutionised modern living and made life so much more convenient. However, freezing food can lead to problems if it is not done correctly. Every food business should be aware of the correct way to freeze so as to avoid the potential for sickness.

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Freezing food has been around for many centuries and it’s a great method for preserving food. The freezing temperatures prevent the growth of microorganisms in foodstuffs. Freezing means we can keep food for longer, preserving it and reducing waste. However, one fact that isn’t always fully understood is that freezing does not kill bacteria, it simply prevents them from growing and emitting toxins. As soon as the defrosting process starts, the bacteria become active once again. This is why the defrosting and cooking of frozen goods is so important to get right.

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Did you know that freezers have different star ratings that indicate how cold they are and how long food can be stored before needing to be used. One star means food will keep for one week and a four star appliance will keep food preserved for three months or longer.

It is important to know the rating of a freezer so that food can be stored for the right length of time. The recommended temperature setting according to the Food Standards Agency is -18 degrees Celsius. For information about a Food Hygiene Check, visit a site like https://hygienecheck.net

What types of food can be frozen?

Almost all foods can be frozen, however some foods are affected by the process which considerably reduces their quality – such as salad leaves, for example. In theory, with a high rated freezer, food can be stored indefinitely, however, the longer food is kept in a frozen state, a reduction in quality will occur. The food will lose flavour and the texture may change. Freezer burn can also occur, which is when an item becomes covered in ice crystals.

How long a certain food can be frozen for is determined by the rating of the appliance, the temperature of the appliance being set correctly, how the food is to be cooked on defrosting and any additional packaging instructions.

There are some foods that should not be frozen and these include:

Shelled eggs


Vegetables (unless purchased frozen) and Salad


Anything fried

Foods that have previously been defrosted

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Some good tips for storing frozen food include the following:

Never put hot food in the freezer – this could harm the freezer unit and will warm up other food stored in the freezer, encouraging bacteria to become active again. This increases the potential for food poisoning.

Check the temperature of the freezer is at the correct setting as sometimes the setting can get knocked so food might not be as frozen as you think it is.

Even though you cannot freeze eggs in their shells, you can crack eggs and freeze the yolks and whites separately or whisk them together for storage. This means they can be stored for up to one year.