Imagine this scenario.
You cook up a month’s supply of food for your baby and store it in your freezer.
You leave with your family on a week’s vacation.
On your return, one look at the blinking lights on your electrical appliances alerts you to the fact that there was a power outage whilst you were away.
You check the freezer – and there sits all your baby food, frozen as it should be.
But how do you tell how long the power was out? What if the food in your freezer defrosted, then refroze when the power was restored?
One way of ascertaining how long your home was without power is to check foods such as meat – generally, bloody liquid leaks from the pack as it defrosts and refreezes around the pack when the power comes back on.
A more reliable method, however, is to use a penny!
Before you leave for your trip, place a penny on top of an ice cube in your freezer.
If the power is out for any significant length of time, the ice cube will melt and the penny will sink to the bottom of the tray .
This means that – even if the power is restored and everything freezes again – you will be able to tell from the position of the penny whether or not the contents of your freezer were likely to have defrosted.
If it looks as if the contents of your freezer thawed out, then (unfortunately!) you should discard any baby food stored there.
But if the penny remains on top of the ice cube, then you will know that your baby’s food stayed frozen and is still perfectly safe for him to eat!