Load shedding has affected us all in one way or another. Eskom recently announced that stage 2 load shedding will continue until 05:00 on Saturday 30 October which means many of us will have to work around this. One thing that has most of us worried is how load shedding will affect our food in the fridge. Here are five load shedding tips to make sure your food doesn’t get spoilt.
1. PUTTING FOOD IN THE FREEZER
Although the electricity is scheduled to go out once or twice a day, it’s still important to keep food cold in case the power outage lasts a little bit longer. Step one is transferring fridge items to your freezer.
The colder the food is, the longer it can be kept. Food items that you won’t use immediately can be kept in the freezer for the duration of the load shedding period.
If you can’t transfer your food to the freezer, make sure the fridge is running at 4℃ when load shedding hits so the food can stay cool. Foods that are most likely to be spoilt are fresh meat, fresh fish, milk, cheeses and leftovers, depending on how long they have been in the fridge.
2. MAKING SURE FOOD STAYS COLD
Make sure you have lots of ice to put over the food in the freezer to make sure the food you’ve just transferred stays cold. You can also fill up empty water bottles with iced water and place them in the freezer.
If the ice has melted, it is most likely that the food has thawed and it will be unsafe to consume.
3. KEEPING FRIDGE DOORS CLOSED
Experts note that a full freezer can hold its temperature for approximately 48 hours while a half-empty freezer will hold for 24 hours so it is important to keep those doors closed! To make sure the freezer stays cold, use lots of ice and iced water bottles.
Just Fridge shares that if you have access to dry ice, that could also be placed in the freezer.
4. USING A COOLER BAG, BATH OR SINK
Another alternative to keeping your food cold in this unprecedented time is using a cooler bag. (Cooler bags can be used for much more than just a picnic with friends!)
Putting items in a cooler bag means you can prioritise the things you had your eye on for a meal. This could mean anything from meat, poultry, milk and eggs.
5. SMALL QUANTITIES
If your freezer is already full or if you don’t have a lot of space left, you can buy smaller quantities of food that you can cook and consume faster instead of worrying that they might go off.