So I have a roast that’s been in my freezer for over a year. I just discovered it in the back of my freezer the other day, I had totally forgotten it was there! I almost threw it away when I found it, because like I said it’s been in there for over a year! But, I called my mother-in-law and she said that it should still be fine. I wasn’t quite convinced yet, so I did a little research on the internet and found that she was right: food can keep indefinitely in the freezer. Didn’t know that. All of the sites and articles I found (including the usda’s site) said the same thing…that as long as your freezer stays at or below 0°F, your food will keep indefinitely because that temperature “inactivates” the growth of bacteria. I found an article that I felt really explained all of this (freezing meat, freezer burn, thawing meat) really well to me. Here’s what they said about freezing your meats:
“Frozen meats can be safely frozen indefinitely as long as your freezer maintains a temperature of 0°F or lower. At this temperature, bacteria, yeasts, and molds are inactive (not destroyed). Freezing meat simply stops the clock when microbes are concerned. So, if a piece of meat is about to go bad when you freeze it, it’s about to go bad when after you thaw it. It’s best to freeze fresh meat shortly after purchase unless you plan on using it.”
Makes sense! I would definitely recommend reading this whole article, like I said he explains really well freezing meats as well as thawing them safely.
So, as I said, your food will stay safe indefinitely in your freezer. Now, what about quality? What all of the articles I found said was, although your food will stay SAFE, that doesn’t mean that it will still TASTE good by the time you get around to cooking! If you keep it in the freezer too long, it can affect the quality (but not safety) of your food. So, since I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes my food to taste decent, again I ask, How Long Can I Freeze Meat? This chart is from the USDA’s website, & it tells you how long different foods can be frozen before it starts affecting the quality (but again, it’ll stay safe pretty much forever if kept at the right temperature). I have found this chart SO helpful…just make sure when you freeze your foods you write on them in permanent marker (on a piece of masking tape if needed) when you need to use them by (so they don’t end up sitting in your freezer for, say, a year):
I got this chart from the USDA’s article I found. I’d also definitely recommending this whole article if you want more info (what better source to use than the USDA right?). It just gives more in detailed information about food safety and how freezing your food affects it’s quality and nutrients. Click here to read the whole article.
So I guess my roast is still safe to eat…maybe I’ll cook it in some sauce or something so it doesn’t taste too funny! I’ll let you know how that one goes…
Tags: food safety, freezing meat
Posted in Tips & Tricks | 5 Comments »