The unfortunate truth is that it’s hard to tell how long food will last in the freezer. It can be difficult to determine if a food is still safe to eat because there is no way of telling how long it has been frozen. The only surefire way of knowing if your food is still edible, or has had its life cut short by freezer burn or some other issue, is by doing a taste test. This article will go over some general guidelines and tips on what foods can last longer in the freezer and which ones should be eaten first!
Based On Temperature
If your freezer is experiencing hot or warm temperatures, this will cause the foods inside to spoil more quickly. The warmer the air in the freezer, the faster bacteria grows and causes food decay. Because of this, a great option is to use freezer temperature alarms to know if the temperature of your freezer is starting to get too warm. If this happens, you can try and move any foods that are susceptible to spoilage further back in the freezer where the air is colder. The storage life of foods stored in a refrigerator at 33°F to 38°F (0.6 °C to 3.3 °C) at the coldest part of the refrigerator will be slightly longer than if they were stored in a freezer that is 0°F (-18°C).
Prevent Freezer Burn
Freezer burn occurs when the air makes contact with the surface of food, causing it to lose moisture. This can create dry areas on your food, which can make it taste stale or cause a film to form over the top. This is why it’s important to try and prevent freezer burn. One of the main causes of freezer burn is air coming into contact with your food, so be careful when packing items together in your freezer to prevent this. You can also wrap foods tightly before freezing them or use containers made especially for the freezer that is sealed tight. If you do notice that your food has freezer burn, you can still eat it; just cut off any affected areas before cooking or eating!
Which Foods Last Longer?
Here is a list of foods that can last in the freezer for up to about six months. These foods are not affected by temperature or moisture loss so they will be okay to eat when you take them out of the freezer! The foods include:
- Bread, pastries, and cakes without custard fillings or frostings
- Vegetables that are blanched (cooked for a short time in boiling water) before freezing
- Potato salad made with mayonnaise Eggs (in shell)
Foods That Should Be Eaten First and Within A Month
For the foods that should be eaten first, it depends on how long you want to keep them in the freezer! If you still want to eat the food after thawing it out, then keep its storage life under three months. To help make your decision easier, here is a list of foods to eat within three months:
- Cooked meat dishes like beef roast or enchiladas
- Casseroles made with-style soup
- Raw or cooked meat or seafood
- Within a month, you should eat bread and doughnuts without icing, custard, or fruit fillings.
- Meat, poultry, or fish that has not been previously frozen, cooked, or smoked. If packaged in air-tight freezer bags it may last up to two months.
- Fruits and fruit juices that have been quick-frozen at their peak ripeness.
- Bread made with eggs should be eaten right away.
- Creamed cottage cheese goes bad after one month.
How Long Will Food Last?
Most fresh foods will last about 1-2 months in the freezer, which isn’t long considering how much money most people spend on groceries every month. However, some foods can last up to 6 months in the freezer, if not more! Fresh carrots, celery, and other leafy vegetables are among those that can last a long time. It’s best to store these veggies with their leaves removed because it will help them retain moisture. If you’re looking for an easier way to tell how fresh your food is when you pull it from the freezer, pay attention to the color of what you’re freezing. Vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower that have turned slightly yellow may be past their prime and ready for composting.
Because of the lack of information on most foods’ shelf lives in the freezer, it has proven difficult to list all possible foods and their storage times. However, this article can serve as a great guideline for telling how long your more common foods will last in the freezer. If you do find out any new information on this topic, please share it with us so we can update our knowledge!