Most regular food items should not be allowed to freeze. Freezing can cause cans to bulge, which can cause the seam to fail, leading to food-borne illness. Other adverse effects include changes in product texture, flavor or color. (You may have experienced canned veggies that froze and later thawed, turned mushy and had to be tossed out!) Whenever possible, avoid storing foods where the temperatures will reach below freezing.
Most canned goods are packed in a solution of salt or sugar, which lowers their freezing point.
Freezing can have adverse effects on liquids such as soda, cooking oil, soap or detergent. Some liquids may be brought back to their original state if thawed after they have frozen (shaking may also aid in returning the product to normal). When in doubt, always do a trial run before storing large supplies in freezing areas. If possible, store these products in areas underground, such as a basement or root cellar. If a basement is unavailable, try insulating the products as much as possible. Wrap them in newspaper or blankets for storage.
Tip: For extra insulation, you can create a small "room" out of straw bales (floor and walls made from straw) around the items, and a sheet of plywood covered by more straw on top.
Safe for Freezing
- Foods that are dehydrated or freeze-dried will actually last longer in the cold since there is no water in them to freeze.
- Stockpile things such as paper towels, plastic cups and utensils, razors, floss and toothbrushes in locations that may freeze.