How to Save the Food in Your Freezer During a Power Cut UK

How to Save the Food in Your Freezer During a Power Cut

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With the news that the UK could be facing blackouts during winter when it comes to electricity and gas supplies, due to “unprecedented turmoil and volatility” it pays to know how to keep your food safe and still frozen in times of no power. The last thing you’re going to want is to lose an entire freezer full of food, so here’s everything you need to know: How to save the food in your freezer during a power cut.

How Long Will Frozen Food Last in the Freezer During a Power Cut?

Food will stay frozen in the freezer for between 6 and 48 hours during/after a power cut.

There are many things that can affect how long your food will last, though. In some cases, frozen food will stay safe and frozen for up to 48 hours in the freezer. Lots of things will detract from that length of time, however. Even something as simple as opening the door can cause cold air to escape and frozen food to defrost.

Bosch says:

“Food will stay safe for up to 6 hours in a fridge-freezer.”


Beko says:

“Food will remain frozen for around 12 hours if left in the freezer”.


Half freezers are said to keep food safe and cold/frozen for up to 24 hours.

Full-sized freezers are said to keep food safe and cold/frozen for up to 48 hours, and the same applies to freezers or fridge-freezers that have been given a good energy-efficiency score.

A half-full freezer of any kind will keep food safe for around 24 hours.

Save the Food in Your Freezer During a Power Cut

Image by Влад Варшавский

How to Save the Food in Your Freezer During a Power Cut: The Do’s

If you want to make sure that the frozen food in your freezer lasts for the duration of your power cut, here are a few of the things you SHOULD do.

1: Stay Calm

Most power cuts are over and done with, in a matter of minutes.

Short power cuts have virtually no effect on your freezer or the food inside it. Grab some candles, calm the kids down, and make sure you know where all the pets are, but definitely don’t panic just yet.

According to the National Grid, power cuts or blackouts are an “unlikely” scenario. If they do happen at all, they will only happen for around three hours at a time. If that is the case, your freezer and the food inside will be just fine.

In the event that power cuts or blackouts last for longer than 3 hours, your food will be just fine. With the door kept closed, food inside will be safe for up to 24 or 48 hours, depending on the type of freezer you have.

2: Freeze Bottled Water

Full freezers will stay frozen for longer than half-full or empty freezers.

If you have bottles of water in the fridge, add them to your freezer. You can also full all your ice cube trays and ice cube bags.

The water will be fine if you freeze and then defrost it, and you will also be able to use the frozen or partially-frozen water bottles to keep food cool, should the power be off for a long period of time.

If you don’t have water bottles, you can fill and then seal freezer bags. Tie the neck a few times (or properly seal/zip it) and you’ll find they don’t actually leak much, if at all!

3: Bundle All Food Together

Move all food to one drawer or shelf, if you have food scattered around your freezer.

They’ll stay a lot cooler for a lot longer if you group everything together in one space. In the same way that penguins bundle together to keep warm, frozen food can be bundled together to keep cool.

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4: Move Freeze-able Items from Cupboards/Fridge to Freezer

Everything that can be frozen, should be frozen. This includes items from the fridge, cupboards, pantry, etc.

This will not only ensure that your freezer is as full as possible, to keep it cool for as long as possible, but also means that any food that could potentially spoil in the refrigerator will be safer for longer.

Leftover dinners, slices of meat, bread – there are lots of things in your fridge that you can transfer to the freezer without any problems.

5: Check Your Insurance Policy

Some policies will cover you for the cost of food lost during a power cut.

Although power cuts are rare, blackouts are said to be a thing that probably won’t happen, and most power cuts are for only short periods of time, it pays to be prepared in the event that you do end up losing all the food you’ve bought for your family to last for weeks or months.

Have a read through your home insurance policy. If the power cut is prolonged and you do end up losing a whole load of food because of it, your home insurance might just cover you. You can put in a claim and then be reimbursed for all lost goods.

6: Super Freeze

Hit the super freeze option on your freezer if you have advanced warning of a power cut/blackout.

It’s unlikely that you do get advanced notification of a power cut, but it might happen in the event of blackouts. If you know in advance that the power is going to be out for a while, you can use a feature that some freezers have, known as super freeze or quick freeze.

This mode accelerates the rate at which the freezer cools and then freezes. Ideally, you will want to do this roughly 24 hours before the power is due to be turned off. It will mean that your freezer will be as cold as possible, and it will stay that way for as long as possible. (Providing you don’t open the door, of course!)

7: Insulate Your Fridge Freezer

If the power has been out for a considerable length of time (6 hours or more) and you’re concerned about the safety of the food in your freezer, you could consider insulating it.

You must ensure that the fridge-freezer/freezer is turned off and unplugged even if the power is already out. When the power comes on, the insulation could pose a fire risk.

In order to insulate your freezer, you need to wrap it in insulating materials. This includes duvets and blankets, curtains, rugs, cardboard boxes, paper, etc. By doing this, you are locking all the cold air inside the freezer, keeping the food inside cool.

Insulating your freezer during a power cut should be used as a last resort. It can be dangerous, and you MUST ensure that the device is turned off and/or unplugged at the wall.

Save Food During Power Cut

By qwartm

How to Save the Food in Your Freezer During a Power Cut: The Don’ts

There are things that you definitely shouldn’t do in the event of a power cut as well as things you should do. Making one of these mistakes could cost you whatever your freezer full of food is worth… and we all know how much food costs these days. In a Cost of Living Crisis, you can’t afford to do a ‘big shop’ twice, right?

1: Don’t Open the Door


You might be surprised at just how much freezing cold air is lost when you do something as simple and seemingly insignificant as opening the freezer door, but that’s the first thing you SHOULDN’T do during a power cut.

Every time you open the freezer door, you’re letting some of the air out. When the door is shut, the space inside is sealed, and the freezing cold air is also sealed in. Opening the door breaks the seal, lets some of the air out, and increases the temperature inside more and more each time you do it. 

Leave the freezer alone for as long as possible. Don’t open the door. Tell everyone in your family not to open the door. Tape it shut and put a bit note on the door if necessary.

2: Don’t Remove the Food

You do not need to move frozen food to a cool box (or similar) for a number of hours.

You might think that removing the food from your freezer and stashing it in a freezer bag is a smart idea, but it’s really not. That would only really be necessary if the power cut has been going on for hours and you’re at risk of the temperature in the freezer getting too warm.

Power Cut Freezer Food

By happycreator

Leave your frozen food exactly where it is for now. Do not open the door. Do not remove it. It will be fine for at least 12 hours. It’ll likely be safe for up to 24 hours. If you’ve got a really, really good fridge freezer, your food might even be safe for up to 2 days (48 hours).

There’s really no need to panic just yet. Make yourself a cup of coffee instead. (Just maybe use Coffee Mate instead of cow’s milk to avoid opening the fridge door.)

3: Don’t Stash Food Outside

It might be freezing cold out there, but it might not be freezing cold enough to keep frozen food cold and safe.

There are plenty of other reasons why you should stash food outside during a power cut, or at any other time, too. Fresh meat, fruit, vegetables, and other produce will lure in pests, such as rats, mice, foxes, strays, and neighbourhood pets on the prowl.

The last thing you’ll need is a rodent or pest problem on top of your power cut problem! Once a pest animal associates your home with food, they’ll keep coming back for as long as they can find it.

Will Food Last Longer During a Power Cut in a Full-Size Freezer or a Half-Size Freezer?

According to the very smart people at Bosch, one of the most popular brands of white goods in the UK, food will last longer in a full freezer. In fact, this is what they say:

“Food can remain fresh up to… 48 hours in a full freezer, and 24 hours in a half freezer.”

Keeping Food Safe During a Power Cut: Quick Tips & Tricks

1: A full freezer will stay cold and frozen for longer during a power cut than an empty one. You can’t predict when power cuts are going to happen, unfortunately, but you can panic a little less if you happen to have a packed-full freezer when the power cuts occur.

Keep Food Safe Power Cut

By alexat25

2: In some cases, you might be covered by your home insurance policy for the loss of food in your fridge or fridge-freezer because of a power cut. This is Money says this:

“Out of the 364 home contents policies, 93 per cent give some amount of cover as standard while 3 per cent make this an optional extra and 4 per cent do not cover frozen food at all.”

This is Money

3: If the power might be out for a while and your freezer is only half full, why not pair up with a neighbour? You can put your frozen products in their freeze, or vice versa. A full freezer will stay cold for longer than an empty or half-empty freezer will.


By Buzzy Kitchen

Lovers of food, owners of opinions, pleased to share!