The food freeze ray

Freezers are a great way to make the most of your food. A good freezer stops the clock on food so you can keep it frozen right up to the use-by date. It also stores pre-packed frozen food safely for months.

Domestic freezers are given a star rating to indicate how long food can be stored for once frozen. One star freezers (usually just an ice shelf in a fridge) can store pre-frozen food for up to one week; two star freezers for up to one month. Three star freezers store pre-frozen food for three to twelve months, while a four star freezer has the added ability of freezing fresh food. It’s best to use food in your freezer within six months but don’t panic if it’s been there longer. Just cook for longer and add a bit more flavour like herbs and spices.

Storage for star marked freezers

* (-5°C) Up to 1 week
** (-12°C) Up to 1 month
*** (-18°C) Follow best before date
**** (-18°C) Follow best before date
For ice making compartment of domestic refrigerator: 3 days

Keep frozen. Once defrosted, do not refreeze.

You may be surprised to hear that families in the UK store over £800 million worth of food in their freezers at any one time but a third of us have unidentified frozen objects in there. On top of that, each year we needlessly throw away over £3 billion worth of good food because we didn’t use it in time before it went off - but it could easily have been frozen.

So the moral of the story is wrap any food that’s bound for the freezer tightly - in a pot or bag - to keep the ice out; label it well with a date and what it is; and keep a running list if you can of what’s in your freezer so that it gets used and renewed!

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