Breast Milk Freezers
Breastfeeding or feeding an infant with Expressed Breast Milk (EBM) is beneficial to both the infant and mother in the short and long term, which is why the practice is encouraged in Australian hospitals.
As EBM is not sterile, the temperature that it is stored at is critical to the shelf life of the milk. If EBM is kept below -20°C, it is capable of being stored for 6 to 12 months; however, if the milk is only kept below -15°C then the shelf life is reduced to a maximum of 2 weeks.
To ensure that a EBM freezer always stays below -20°C requires that the freezer is set to operate at -25°C. It is also critical that the temperature doesn’t get above -20°C during a defrost cycle which is something that an auto-defrost freezer is incapable of doing. For this reason, static freezers with manual defrost cycles have been used to store EBM, but more recently Liebherr have developed freezer models that have a rapid-hot-gas defrost cycle that is capable of defrosting the freezer without adversely affecting the temperature of the breast milk.