As you know we are living in a camper, a 5th wheel to be exact. We were lied to by the seller and we have been experiencing hell with winterizing the crap camper. Lessons learned are endless. The temperature over the last three days has dropped below -10 Degrees Celsius. Last night was -16 *C and all our food and water froze – solid. We ourselves were fine in our 10 layers of winter blankets and two people inside for heat, however our food and water were not safe.
This brings up the question. Can you eat food from a can that has been frozen? The answer I can safely tell you is, no. The reason I say no is because you must monitor the temperature that you thaw it. Never thaw between the temperatures of 4 °C (40 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F), and if the can cracked or was damaged in the freezing or thawing process, either inside or outside of the can, then the food is now contaminated, and you risk food poisoning. My main concern is botulism. This little bugger is the one that puts the fear deep in my bones. This is the reason I always go by the slogan, “when in doubt, throw it out”.
There is too many documented cases of people over the years who carelessly make things like herbed oils, improper canning and have died or got very sick because of it. So when in doubt, please throw it out.
Why do I care so much about botulism? It is rare these days but deadly. It is heat resistant, so even if you cook at high temperatures you will not cook it out. Symptoms will develop in 12 to 48 hours. The poison attacks the nervous system, causing double vision, droopy eyelids, trouble swallowing, and difficulty breathing. If you are not treated in time you will die of suffocation. Even if you get the antitoxin from the hospital you may still suffer nerve damage. Either way, you will suffer permanent side affects. Not a bacteria you want to mess with.
Since all our food froze, I had to toss out all our food. We do still have rice, lentils, pasta and quinoa. However no water to cook it in since that too was frozen. Just stop and think about this for a second. We woke up and crawled out of bed to find all our water and food frozen inside our home. Most people complain when the temperature in the home reads below +20 degrees Celsius. Water freezes at 0(zero) degrees Celsius. Large full 20 gal jugs freeze solid at around -10 degrees Celsius in just a few hours. Just a thought to share with you all how cold our camper is right now.
I am grateful for this happening. This is a great lesson for my daughter. I have already lived a time that we ate only what we could from dry foods and the water was by melting snow. Teaching my daughter this extreme survival skills I feel will help her in her future if she should ever fall on hard times again. She will not fear since she will now know of options to stay alive, healthy and safe.
When we were in a homeless shelter in Ontario the counsellor there commented that we were too happy to be homeless. This is a great compliment. Why not be happy? We are alive, we are still somewhat healthy and we are optimistic that this too shall pass. So learn from the journey and enjoy the trip, hopefully it only happens once. For sure don’t eat frozen canned food, or frozen canned food that was thawed and refroze even. Just stay safe, toss it out. We don’t have much ourselves, but even I am not willing to risk it.
Hope you are all staying safe and warm.