Freezer problems can range from mechanical to power outages due to storms. This article deals with determining if dry ice can help you save your frozen food and how to use it. There are many uses for dry ice and if you pay attention to a couple of safety rules, dry ice can save your food when your freezer stops.
When Your Freezer Stops
If your power is on, but the freezer is not working, check the plug first. We actually had a cat unplug our freezer by jumping on it. Check the freezer to see how much the food has thawed. You should have a thermometer in your freezer to tell you just how cold it is.
If the power is out throughout the house, DO NOT open the freezer door. You will know when the power went off so checking the freezer will only let cold air out. Keep it closed. You have a few hours before food starts thawing. Room temperature where the freezer is will affect thawing time as well as how full your freezer is. The fuller the freezer, the longer it will take to thaw out. So try to keep it fairly full.
Finding dry ice is as easy as looking it up in the yellow pages or searching for it on the Internet. Most dry ice companies have numbers to call if you need dry ice during holidays or hours other than office hours. You may be surprised how close an outlet for dry ice is.
The dry ice is usually wrapped in brown paper. We use cardboard to lay the dry ice on and take several blankets to help insulate it. Once home, we put cardboard on top of the food that is in the freezer, then add the dry ice. Dry ice can come in blocks, pellets or slabs. We usually opt for slabs;, because the blocks are very heavy. The slabs also are good at evenly dispersing its cooling ability. Once placed on the cardboard, close the freezer.
Tips for Using Dry Ice
1. NEVER touch dry ice with your bare skin.
2. Keep pets away so they aren’t burned by the dry ice.
3. NEVER store dry ice in your freezer. It’s only for getting your food through emergency freezer problems. It can damage your freezer if used indefinitely.
4. To dispose of dry ice, simply let the air get to it. It will go back to gas and dissipate.
5. Find dry ice sources BEFORE you need them.
6. Keep your dry ice supplier’s number handy.
No one likes freezer problems, but a source of dry ice can get your food safely through them.
My own experience.