The present situation means that there have been significant demand changes across sectors of the food industry. This means the importance of reducing food wastage wherever possible is, if anything, greater than ever.
It is often overlooked that dairy products freeze incredibly well, so we’ve put together some handy notes on dairy freezing to enable you to reduce wastage and make best use of your supplies.
At Dunns Food and Drinks, ensuring the very best quality of the products that we supply is of utmost importance to us. It is a pillar of our service pledge and we are committed to providing clear guidance on where freezing can maintain the product quality that we always strive for.
Our tips provide some clarity on what product types can be frozen, the potential impacts on quality and guidance on how to handle the freeze/defrost process. Please continue to check product packaging for supplier/manufacturer guidance on individual products.
Starters for 10
- The freezing of packaging can lead to an increased risk of splitting. To reduce this risk, products could be placed in to an airtight container. If this isn’t possible then it is safest to freeze products in an upright position if you can and to avoid crushing in the freezer.
- Defrosting should always be done in a chilled environment (5°C or under)
- If the product date advice has a use-by date it should always be frozen before this date and used within 24 hours of defrost.
- Please note that guidance on defrosting times could be significantly different depending on the temperatures of fridge and freezer, and airflow.
Visit The Food Standards Agency website for lots of information on how to freeze and defrost food safely: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/chilling
What can be frozen?
- Fresh Milk, Cream and Yoghurt
Each of the above can be frozen, including fermented cream derivatives such as sour cream and crème fraiche. This should take place before the last day of the indicated shelf life and once defrosted, it should be used within 24 hours.
- Butter, Blends & Spreads
All the above can be frozen, with best results found by placing in to an airtight container. Defrost the product in the fridge and consume as soon as possible.
Speciality Cheeses, particularly blue cheeses like Stilton and Brie are not recommended for freezing due to quality issues. Likewise, processed cheeses and soft cheese/cottage cheese is not recommended for freezing.
Block Cheeses such as cheddar can be frozen, along with grated and sliced. It is recommended that for best results block cheese is grated or cut in to small cubes before freezing. It should be placed in to an air-tight container or wrapped well in freezer bags. It should be defrosted in the fridge and consumed as soon as possible.
Any other info?
- Please check packaging information for further guidance from the supplier/manufacturer. We can refer any particular queries to them for best practice information.
- If you are freezing cases of stock, it is recommended to use layer cards to increase airflow during the freeze and defrost processes and to rotate the cases from the inside to the outside of the pallet for consistency of the freeze/defrost rate.
- It is always advised to freeze a small amount of stock and to defrost as a trial. This well help to gauge the time required for the process as well as to check on quality holding.
- Defrosting should always take place at a controlled chilled temperature that is monitored regularly (a calibrated temperature probe should be intro the middle of a case). Ensure fully defrosted before use.
- Do not replace use by dates or ‘over-sticker’ with a new shelf life. Freeze before the last day of shelf life and use within 24 hours of defrost.
For further support, please get in touch via the usual channels and we will get back to you as soon as possible.