Kitchen Hint – Ice Cubes Versus Iceberg – Freezer Food Safety

In case of power outage, to know whether freezer items are safe to consume or not, before an outage occur, do the following:

Place ice cubes in a zipper bag (I place 3 cubes in a snack-size zipper bag).
Zip and place in freezer.

If the cubes become one solid mass
it means items in your freezer thawed and refroze when the power returned.
Throw everything out.
Better to be safe than sorry.

One never knows when there will be a power outage or a freezer malfunction. For peace of mind, I always keep ice cubes in zipper bag in the freezer and check the condition of the ice cubes periodically especially after an outage.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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46 Responses to Kitchen Hint – Ice Cubes Versus Iceberg – Freezer Food Safety

  1. Pat says:

    Hi Norma,
    I hope you are feeling better. Thanks for the reminder to do this. Take care and let’s hope it is not as bad as they are predicting.

  2. Daphne says:

    I had never heard of that trick before. It seems like a good one. Though the only time I’ve lost power here was when I unplugged the freezer to clean it out and forgot to plug it back in. Hopefully we will be as lucky as in the past, and not as forgetful.

  3. Kristy says:

    That is genius Norma! What a simple, but effective tip. I love it! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the helpful tip, Norma.

  5. Patsy says:

    Thanks for the tip Norma! Here’s hoping we don’t get hit too hard by the big storm!

  6. Thank you for this great tip 😀


  7. Karen says:

    That is a great tip, Norma. We have a whole house generator since we loose power so much during the winter at our home in New Hampshire but this is very helpful when we are at our summer home in Maine.

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    Glad to read you’re feeling better, Norma.
    This is a great tip, really smart. I’ll definitely be passing this along to my Zia. BTW … I’ve not forgotten your request about squash and pasta. I’ll want to ask my Zia if she knows of any, too. 🙂

  9. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s very helpful, Norma. I hope we don’t have too many power outages this summer xx

  10. Very timely tip Norma. Hopefully Sandy doesn’t cross your path.

  11. Eha says:

    Now why had I not thought of something so easy and logical myself? Living almost rurally, we get outages quite often and, after bad storms etc, the crews often don’t get to us until hour and hours later! Thank you and shall definitely use!!

  12. This is an excellent tip, Norma.. I had this happen once with a freezer full of fish! This is timely with the big storm brewing off the east coast, I hope you are no where near that!

  13. Liz says:

    Great tip – Off to the freezer to put some in…

  14. a sensible precaution Norma, very practical and sensible!

  15. throve says:

    You are so clever! Hoping You don’t get a blackout when Sandy reaches land. Keep safe.

  16. Thinking of you and this is great advice.

  17. Eva Taylor says:

    That’s a great idea for the freezer, Norma. I usually put a penny on an ice cube in my cottage freezer and if I see the penny in a pool of ice, I know the power went out long enough to chuck everything. Fortunately I never keep that much up there over the season. I’m doing the ice cubes in a bag trick tonight. Thanks

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I like your penny trick.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        Dang, I forgot to the do ice cube trick last night and we haven’t had power since very early this morning when a huge tree took out power on our street. It’s a bummer too because I just got 2 chickens and one of our customers gave me 42 burgers that are in there (I was saving them for a BBQ). So much food. I really hope I won’t have to toss them.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eva,
        Hopefully your power is restored soon. Do you still have your grill out? To be on the safe side, I would grill the chicken and burgers and then freeze for future use. Make sure all are fully cooked. Do you have frozen peas in the freezer? If the pack of frozen peas becomes one solid mass, it means items thawed and refroze, same ice cubes principle.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        I just called the house and the answering machine is not picking up…power is still out. AHHHK! I don’t have frozen peas but I think I have some frozen asparagus ends I was saving for ‘free soup’ I’ll check on those when the power comes back. In the meantime, I don’t want to open the freezer at all.
        That’s a good idea with the chicken and burgers…I guess my left overs are toast.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eva,
        You may be OK as things in the freezer will remain frozen for a while if the door is not open. Regarding the leftovers, may be you can use them up now. Just think, reheating, no cooking, getting a break.

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