Make certain that frozen foods items are wrapped fine or in a strictly sealed container.Brian Klutch / Getty Images
You"ve most likely heard a many so-called rules once it comes to frozen food.

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For example, maybe you"ve to be told the ice cream has actually gone negative once you watch those crystals form or the you have to never thaw and then refreeze meat.

But carry out you understand which that those facts room true and also which ones you have the right to toss out ... Together with that secret meat that"s remained in the back of your freezer for five years?


For critical answers come some typical questions around keeping frozen food healthy and tasty, Food consulted two experts: chief Jennifer Stack, RDN, that teaches nutrition and food safety and security at the Culinary institute of America, and Lauren Sucher, a push officer because that the U.S. Food and Drug management (FDA).

Together, they"ve obtained answers to some of your many burning questions around everything frozen.

1. Is that OK to defrost food on my counter?

"Never thaw food at room temperature, such together on the counter top," advised Sucher. "Food have to be kept at a safe temperature during thawing. That method leaving any kind of raw poultry, raw beef or any kind of other food girlfriend wouldn"t leave sitting out on the respond to is a negative idea.

"There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cook immediately."


2. How soon carry out I need to chef frozen food as soon as I defrost it?

If you thawed the food in the refrigerator, you normally have between one to 5 days to cook it. "Once floor meat, stew meat, poultry or fish space thawed, chef them within a job or two," claimed Stack. "Red meat roasts and also steaks can stay in her refrigerator for three to 5 days prior to you need to chef them."

3. Is that true that you shouldn"t refreeze s food?

This is a typical misconception, yet the specialists say that if you"re quiet in the safe home window for cooking and eating meat, poultry or fish, it"s perfectly for sure to refreeze them, noted that the foodstuffs were thawed in the refrigerator and also kept cold (40°F or below). "Refreezing the food might result in undesirable changes in texture and some ns of flavor yet it will certainly be safe to eat," stated Stack.

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4. Walk food store indefinitely in the freezer?

Yes, but mostly no. "Frozen foodstuffs can be retained in your freezer indefinitely and also still be for sure to eat ... Assuming they stayed frozen solid the totality time," said Stack. "However, they can not taste very good or have actually a strange structure that renders them unappealing." She claimed that fresh, entirety roasts, steaks and also whole chicken will store their high quality for up to a year, however once meats are reduced into pieces, their high quality freezer life fall to four to six months. Various other meats, such as sausage, shed quality after just two months.

The FoodKeeper application is a supervisor handy device that provides timelines for freshness and also quality for foods stored in the refrigerator and freezer. Health additionally has accuse for exactly how long you can freeze various foods.

5. What"s the deal with those crystals ~ above my ice cream cream?

Ice crystals form on food after the food has acquired warm and also begun to defrost; then gets refrozen. "Once they acquire cold again, ice cream crystals begin to type and the food (like ice cream cream) gets the off flavor and also icy texture," defined Stack.

When you buy frozen food, choose packages that do not obviously have actually ice crystals, due to the fact that this may show that the food has actually partially defrosted and then refrozen. Because that bagged frozen foods, offer the bag a squeeze come test because that freshness. "Frozen peas, corn, beans, berry and little pieces of fish favor shrimp and also scallops have to not it is in a heavy block that food," said Stack. "This may likewise be a authorize of defrosting and also refreezing because that these foods."


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6. How deserve to I store frozen foods items at their best?

Make sure that frozen foods items are wrapped well or in a tightly sealed container. And make certain to keep them cold. "Your frozen foods items will keep their quality longer if castle are maintained in the coldest component of the freezer, such together the bottom or the back of the freezer," stated Stack. "The next door storage locations usually acquire a little warmer for this reason the food can soften or begin to defrost."

7. What foods items should I never ever freeze?

While you have the right to safely freeze any food, some foods items just don"t frozen well. Stack"s "don"t freeze" list contains salad greens, meat salads made with mayonnaise (e.g. Chicken salad), entirety eggs and also egg yolks and custard pies. Therefore you"re gonna need to eat that entirety custard pie (or store it in your fridge for up to 5 days). When you deserve to freeze milk and cheese, "they may have actually some alters in your texture," said Stack.


8. Does freezing kill bacteria and other pathogens?

Sorry, nope. "Freezing food will not kill germs, yet rather slow-moving the growth," Sucher said. "If a food product is about to expire and also you decision to freeze it, the day the you pull it the end of the freezer for thawing will certainly restart the clock whereby you quit it upon freeze the food. Refrigerate or frozen perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within 2 hours."

9. If I shed power, need to I toss every the food in my freezer?

Good news! The professionals say "no" v some caveats. "If the strength in your house goes out, save the freezer door closed so the inside of the freezer remains as cold as possible," said Stack. S or partly thawed foodstuffs that were in your freezer can be for sure refrozen if the food has not gone over 40°F. You might see some alters in the top quality of the food yet it will certainly still be safe to eat. Any food that has thawed and also was over 40°F for more than two hours should it is in thrown out.

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10. Is frozen food much less nutritious than fresh food?

Nope, no at all! "The an excellent news about frozen foods is they retain your nutritional value and may be greater in some vitamins than foods like vegetables the were harvested countless days prior to you however them and also eat them," said Stack.