A man holding his nose closed because of an akward smell coming out of the fridge

Loadshedding has unfortunately become a common occurrence in South Africa. While it may help prevent power grid failures, it also presents a significant challenge for households, particularly when it comes to keeping perishable food items like meat fresh during extended power cuts. Fleisherei has explored some of the best ways you can ensure that tasty steak you just bought can make it through the week and on to the grill even if you’re tormented by loadshedding!

1.Plan Your Purchases Wisely:

When you know loadshedding schedules in advance, plan your meat purchases accordingly. Try to buy meat products closer to the time when you anticipate minimal power interruptions. This way, you can reduce the time meat spends in your fridge during loadshedding periods. Fleisherei is open 7 days a week, which means you can visit us at any time during the week to fit your schedule!

2.Invest in a Thermometer:

A refrigerator thermometer is a handy tool to have during loadshedding. It helps you monitor the internal temperature of your fridge, ensuring it remains at a safe level (below 4°C or 40°F). If the power outage lasts for an extended period, you can quickly assess if the temperature inside the fridge has risen to unsafe levels and plan accordingly. Checking the temperature inside a fridge can be tricky, check out this fantastic tip by AEG on how to measure the temperature accurately inside your fridge:

3. Organize Your Fridge:

Before loadshedding begins, organize your refrigerator smartly. Place all the perishable items, including meat, in the coldest areas of the fridge. Grouping them together can help create a sort of “insulated zone” that retains coolness for a longer time when the power goes out.

4.Limit Fridge Access:

During loadshedding, minimize the frequency of opening the fridge door to retain the cold air inside. Encourage everyone in your household to be mindful and know what they want before they open the refrigerator. This practice helps preserve the cooler temperature and extends the freshness of the meat.

5.Utilize Cooler Boxes:

Invest in good quality cooler boxes or ice chests. When you anticipate an extended loadshedding period, transfer your meat and other perishables to the cooler boxes filled with ice packs or bags of ice. Keep the boxes in a cool and shaded place, away from direct sunlight. 

6.Opt for Dry Ice:

Dry ice can be a game-changer during loadshedding. Purchase some dry ice and place it in a well-insulated container. This ice will last much longer than regular ice and can help keep your cooler boxes at the appropriate temperature.

7. Consider Solar-Powered Fridges:

For those living in areas frequently affected by loadshedding, investing in a solar-powered fridge or a hybrid fridge with battery backup can be an excellent long-term solution. These fridges use solar energy to keep your food cool and fresh, even during power outages.

8.Cook and Preserve in Advance:

If you anticipate loadshedding, consider cooking meat in advance and refrigerating or freezing it. Cooked and properly stored meat generally lasts longer than raw meat during power cuts. Additionally, you can explore preserving methods like canning and pickling to extend the shelf life of certain meat products.

Loadshedding may be an unavoidable reality in South Africa, but with a bit of planning and resourcefulness, you can keep your meat fresh and safe during power outages. By following these tips and implementing some smart practices, you’ll be better prepared to handle loadshedding without compromising on the quality of your meat and other perishables. Stay prepared, and your family will enjoy fresh and delicious meals even during challenging times.