Keeping Frozen Food Safe and Tasty

Our freezer is like a mini grocery store in itself, where we usually stock plenty of frozen goods. While freezing foods to save them from spoilage is a safe method of food preservation, many people can go wrong when it comes to storing these frozen eatables.

To be accurate, good frozen storage usually requires temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature at which properly packaged foods can be preserved for months. For high-quality frozen foods, start out with high-quality fresh foods. This is because freezing can retain quality, but not improve it.

Following are some general freezing tips, followed by specific tips for freezing in freezer bags.

If you’re making extra food at one meal for future meals, separate and refrigerate the portion to be served later BEFORE you put the food on the table. This keeps food quality higher by preventing “planned-overs” from becoming “picked-overs.” It also helps keep food safe.

Also, keep an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and in your freezer to assure they stay at 40° F or lower (refrigerator) and O° F or lower (freezer). Buy a thermometer at a discount, hardware, grocery store or other store that sells kitchen cooking tools.

You can refrigerate perishable foods so the TOTAL time they’re at room temperature is less than two hours (or one hour in temperatures above 90 F). At room temperature, just ONE bacterium in perishable foods could grow to 2,097,152 bacteria in seven hours! As a general guideline, eat perishable foods within four days or freeze them. Perishable foods include:

  • meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu
  • dairy products
  • pasta, rice, cooked vegetables
  • fresh, peeled and/or cut fruits and vegetables

Freeze foods in portion sizes you’ll need for future meals. For example, if there are two in your family and you each eat a cup of rice for a meal, freeze in two-cup portions.

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