With consumers purchasing more frozen food than ever how can we ensure freezers keep our food fresh and safe? Lee Harpham, our Refrigeration and Energy Solutions Manager, has three top tips in the blog below for maintaining a healthy freezer both at for our homes and in the supermarket!
Consumers are purchasing more frozen food than ever, with research showing that the size of the global frozen food market will grow by more than $100bn over the next five years.
Whilst some of this is undoubtedly down to changing habits during the pandemic, the continued underlying shift in consumer purchasing is most likely down to the well-publicised cost of living crisis, with households looking for ways to reduce expenditure by purchasing cheaper, longer lasting products.
Not only does this mean that the average home freezer is being relied on more than ever, but so too are supermarket freezers as retailers react to the increased demand of frozen food stock.
With freezer work rates going through the roof, how can consumers and food retailers alike ensure their freezers keep food fresh and safe? Lee Harpham, our freezer fanatic (AKA IMS Evolve’s Refrigeration & Energy Solutions Manager) has three top tips for maintaining a healthy freezer both at home and in the supermarket:
Check your Temperatures:
The right temperature is crucial for keeping the food inside both fridges and freezers safe to consume and of the highest quality. Homeowners should keep a close eye on the temperature inside their freezers to ensure they are running as they should. No built-in thermometer? Check the food inside. If the ice lolly isn’t rock hard, it probably isn’t cold enough.
It’s a similar process for retailers, albeit on a much larger scale. Efficient visibility and control over refrigeration assets across a whole supermarket estate is critical for monitoring and managing temperature to ensure products are kept in a safe environment. Thankfully for retailers, IoT software companies that can provide them with advanced levels of insight and control over their machines are available to help automatically identify, alert and even remotely correct inefficient or inaccurate freezer temperatures before stock is spoiled or lost.
Stock it Suitably:
Whilst having a full freezer is tempting for both consumers and retailers, overfilling a freezer is one of the leading causes of inefficient cooling. Efficient air circulation is essential in order to keep everything properly cooled. In the home, you can check the type of freezer you have to see how much it can comfortably store without impacting performance or increasing the chance of a meltdown… literally.
Likewise for retailers, store staff should be efficiently trained to know the correct volume appropriate in each unit so they never exceeding ‘Load Limit’ lines, and a focus on a well organised stocking system can prove crucial in maximising air flow and easy access.
Keep on Top of Upkeep:
It’s common to forget that your freezer – possibly the most used appliance in the home – is also in need of some care every now and then. From performing regular defrosts to checking door seals and clearing the coils of dust and debris, there are many ways to ensure the upkeep of the at-home freezer. Scheduling regular maintenance checks with a professional will also ensure that the freezer's components, such as the compressor and fans, are working properly, whilst allowing for any issues to be detected and fixed before they become major problems.
For retailers, effective estate-wide maintenance regimes are needed to enable proactive and preventative works, as well as to ensure qualified technicians are on hand for reactive requirements. The implementation of IoT technologies will enable retailers to have complete oversight over not only the real-time health and performance of the freezers within their estate, but also over the contracted technicians. Advanced software can even identify a maintenance issue and automatically call in an engineer whilst arming them with all the details needed to correct the issue. Ultimately, regular, efficient, and effective maintenance both at the home and in the supermarket will ensure the freezer can do its job and keep the produce cool, safe and fresh.