How to safely share and receive frozen food

For FWHs: Collecting frozen food from a business

❄️  Some businesses donate frozen items.

When collecting frozen items please place these in a separate carrier bag than the chilled and ambient items you collect.

If you receive a frozen item as part of your collection, this must either be:

  • Placed in a freezer below -18°c as quickly as possible, and always within 1.5 hours of collection, and shared within 1 month, or
  • Thawed in a refrigerator until completely defrosted and shared within 24 hours. Please note this in your listing so that requesters know that this item cannot be refrozen.

For FWHs: Freezing food before sharing

❄️ Freezing acts as a ‘pause button’ on the shelf life of food. So, if the food you collect is suitable for freezing, it’s a great way to get more food redistributed!

⚠️ Please note that FWHs based in the Republic of Ireland are not allowed to freeze food they collect.

🙏 If you wish to freeze items you collect, please follow these guidelines:

  • Only freeze food in its original packaging which states “suitable for freezing” or similar on the label
    • Look out for the ❄️ instructions on the label and follow this guidance.
    • Whole ingredients (fruit, veg, meat, fish) will not be labelled but can also be frozen.

  • Food cannot be frozen twice. Only freeze food which the donor business has confirmed has not been previously frozen e.g. cooked lasagne that has been frozen and thawed to preserve its shelf life. If they confirm that it has previously been frozen or if they are unsure – do not refreeze.
  • Only freeze food within the "Use By" date. If the "Use By" date has expired, the food must be discarded.
  • Prior to freezing, cover the existing "Use By" date completely with a self-adhesive label which states “Frozen on [date of freezing], Best before: [enter day/month]”
    • The new "Best Before" date must be in accordance with instructions on the label. Normally labels will state something like “freeze on date of purchase and store frozen for 1 month”, so the new "Best Before" date will be 1 month from the date of freezing.
    • If there is no guidance, please store the frozen food for up to 1 month.
  • Make sure that the food is completely frozen to the core and remains frozen until it is picked up by a requester.

For FWHs: Sharing frozen items on the app

  • Please add “Frozen by Olio” to the description of your listing.
  • Supply information relating to the food and its freezing to the requester:
    • Demonstrate the date that the food was frozen.
    • Share the new BB date.
    • Share instructions from the freezing guidance label for defrosting and cooking (if any).
    • Ensure the requester knows that this food cannot be refrozen.

For users: Collecting frozen food from a FWH

  • Once received, frozen food can be in transit for 1.5 hours and should be thawed in the refrigerator until completely defrosted and used within 24 hours.
  • If you collect an item that has been frozen and thawed, do not refreeze.
  • Follow manufacturer's cooking instructions if available.

Source: WRAP redistribution & labelling

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