A Step By Step Guide To Saving Your Produce If Your Fridge or Freezer Has Broken Down

When a fridge or refrigerator breaks down it puts your products and produce at serious risk of spoiling and can seriously cost your business if you don’t take the right steps to saving and storing your goods.

It is vital not to panic or just leave everything you have cold-stored out in the open. If your cold storage unit has broken down, try following these steps to save as much of your food as possible.

Step 1: Find A Storage Alternative

The contents of the fridge will need to be stored in cold temperatures to prevent further spoiling, and the new container will likely have to have enough storage space for a large amount of your stock. For retail and similar businesses, large refrigerated trailers and freezing equipment may be rentable and can be commissioned in an emergency.

If there are no emergency rental equipment services available near you, or the cost will be too high, other storage equipment that can trap the cold can possibly be used, such as coolers or multiple esky’s, but the sheer volume of products that a store or retail service sell meant that this method is unlikely to be practical, as even if there are enough coolers to store all the goods, they will still be at risk of spoiling while they are being packed and the esky may not be effective enough. It is better to search for rental cold storage before any issues can even arise, so you can be prepared should a malfunction happen.

If The Fridge Has Just Broken, Or There Was A Power Outage:

If the fridge or freezer has only just broken, or there is a power outage and the unit has no energy to use, the fridge should still keep an amount of cold temperature for 4 hours at most, depending on the quality and strength of the refrigerator. If the food has remained in the unit for this entire time, do not taste it to check if it’s spoiled or risk selling it. The Australian Government Food Standards Australia New Zealand advises: If in doubt, throw it out. 

Step 2: Pack the Products Effectively

If a rental cold storage service was found within the hour, all possible staff should pack the product as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is important to prioritise which goods should be packed immediately at this stage, as their cold temperature is vital to prevent spoiling and can safely ensure the product may be sold again.

Step 3: Decide what to Keep and What to Throw Away

It may be necessary to consider which products are too much of a health and safety risk to try selling again, even if a cold storage alternative was rented in time. Produce like milk and dairy has a short shelf life and requires very strict cold storage to stay fresh enough for a customer to buy. Other products like butter, eggs or cold drinks can last an hour or so outside of cold storage.

Trying to sell dairy and short shelf life goods after a cold storage malfunction may harm consumer health and cause legal issues for the business.

Step 4: Call Professional Service and Maintenance

Many companies in the cold storage industry understand the importance of keeping your produce in cold temperatures. To ensure the issue is resolved as soon as possible contact a 24/7 service to thoroughly look at the entirety of the unit. A service that only focuses on the immediate flaw may result in another breakdown later.

Depending on what caused the malfunction, the cold storage unit may need to be repaired, or outright replaced.