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Tips To Keep Your Food Cooler For Longer During Load Shedding

As we continue to live with the frustration of load shedding in South Africa, finding ways to keep your food cooler for longer in your refrigerator or freezer becomes a priority. We’re here to help you keep your food safe by sharing ways to keep your food cool during load shedding, especially if you’re up to date with the load shedding schedule in your area.

Keep Doors Closed

Keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed at all times, especially during load shedding, as this will keep the air in your refrigerator cooler for longer, therefore ensuring longer shelf life. A KIC chest freezer can keep your food fully frozen at a temperature of -18/-9°C for between 38 to 46 hours 1 during power outages, while a refrigerator can stay cold for up to 4 hours. During load shedding, use your refrigerator only if and when necessary, because when you continuously open the fridge door, you allow for cold air to escape and warm air to enter.

 

Frozen Ice Packs

During load shedding, use frozen ice packs around the most perishable foods in your refrigerator to keep them cooler for longer.

 

Purchase Smaller Quantities

If you don’t have a freezer or if your freezer is small in capacity, rather purchase smaller quantities of fresh food, and then if possible, cook and consume them as quick as possible. Additionally, purchasing smaller food quantities will help you in the event that there is a bigger power problem in your area that is not linked to load shedding.

 

Transfer Items To Your Freezer

If you know your power outage will last longer than usual, we suggest you transfer some of your items in your refrigerator to your freezer to keep them at a safer temperature for a longer period of time. Items such as milk, meats or leftovers that you don’t need immediately can be safely kept in your freezer during power outages.

 

More Ways To Keep It Cool

  •  Make sure your refrigerator is running at 4°C or as close to that temperature as possible before.
  • Freeze refrigerated items that you may not need immediately, such as leftovers, fresh meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Opt for purchasing long-life products, such as sterile or UHT milk and canned foods (which are great options because they have a long shelf-life outside your refrigerator if unopened).

    Naturally, all this talk about keeping your food cool during load shedding may lead to the question:

 

How safe is the food in my refrigerator after load shedding?

It’s understandable that you might have some doubts about how safe the food is in your refrigerator after hours of not having electricity. The reality is, load shedding can pose as a
health risk during the hottest time of the year when food spoils due to not being kept cold for long enough. When perishable foods are exposed to a temperature of 4.44°C to 60°C, it
becomes easier for bacteria to grow, which can make you sick. However, according to food safety experts, refrigerated foods should be safe as long as the power is not off for more
than 4 hours at a time, your refrigerator door is kept shut, and if your refrigerator was running at 4°C at the time load shedding struck. To be 100% sure that your food is safe, we suggest you freeze your items and store them in a chest freezer, rather than in the freezer part of your refrigerator. KIC chest freezers keep your food fully frozen at a temperature of -18/-9°C for between 38 to 46 hours 2 during load shedding.

Load shedding presents challenges in keeping food cooler and fresher for longer. However, there are several ways to help prolong the shelf life of your food in your refrigerator and
freezer. By making use of these ways, you can keep your food safe during load shedding and avoid potential health risks associated with spoiled foods.

Maximum hours depend on the size of the KIC chest freezer as well as how full the freezer is. Based on internal testing.

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