What are the strangest things people leave in their freezers?

Be honest: how often do you clean out your freezer? And we mean deep clean, not just checking the first few items visible at the front! From decade-old meat to deceased pets, us Brits have found some questionable items at the back of our freezers.

As a result, Saveonenergy.com sought to find out just how bad our freezer habits are by conducting a survey of 1,243 Brits. The results were interesting to say the least. 

The results

Save On Energy’s survey found that meat is the most common item to be stored in the freezer. 44.44% of people voted for meat as their most stored item, with pizza coming in second place with 22%.

When asked how long are people prepared to leave things in the freezer for, 16.67% of Brits said they have left items in the freezer for a whopping 10 years, while half of respondents said they would leave items chilling for 1-2 years.

How long would people leave things in the freezer and still eat it? Over a third of respondents (38.89%) said 1-2 years was the longest time they would leave food, but a minority of 16% said they would eat the food that had been in their freezer for 10+ years!

What are the strangest things people have stored in their freezers? 

Respondents listed items that span from the sensible (a wet handkerchief to help with migraines), to the downright bizarre (two dead ferrets and a dead hamster, presumably before they were given a dignified send-off). Other odd items include tobacco, batteries and face cream.

You may also like: How much CO2e is emitted by drinking tea?

We also asked respondents to name the oldest things they had eaten from their freezers, and that stand out answer was a 12-year-old leg of lamb, which the respondent specified was older than their daughter at the time. Other notable items people ate include a 3-month-old burger patty, chicken and shepherd’s pie. Perhaps surprisingly, only a quarter (23.53%) felt ill after eating old frozen food. The survey also asked how often people cleared out their freezer. Most Brits (38.89%) admitted they clean-out their freezers once a year, but notably 11% said they have NEVER cleared out their freezer. 

How do you know if your freezer is working efficiently? 

Unlike most devices, fridge freezers are left on all the time and get forgotten about. But it's important to not underestimate the amount of energy they use. According to research, the fridge freezers make up around 7% of your energy bill, so it's important to ensure that it's working as efficiently as possible in order to save some pennies. 

Save on Energy’s Linda Dodge has provided some top tips to ensure that your freezer is working as efficiently as possible:

• Check the rubber seal on the door. If there is any damage, look to replace this immediately. Also ensure that it is kept clean so a tight seal is maintained.

• Keep the freezer away from sources of heat such as the oven, washing machine and direct sunlight if possible.

• Give the coils on the back of your freezer space by not putting it tight against the wall. These coils need to be kept clean and dust free or they will have to work harder to maintain temperature.

• When storing leftovers, ensure the food is cooled to room temperature before putting in the freezer.

• Limit the time the freezer door is open, for the same reasons you don't open an oven door when cooking food. 

• Build-up of ice and frost will make your freezer use more energy. Look to defrost at the first sign of this.

• Check the temperature. The freezer should be kept at -18 degrees Celsius. 

• Consider your freezer's EU energy label (rating A++ - G). If yours has a low rating it may be worth considering buying a new, better rated freezer.

• Finally, if you have lots of empty space in your freezer, consider replacing it with a smaller one. The smaller the device the less energy required to keep it freezing.