General Discussion

Food Safety Frozen Food

Excavating my deep freezer: how old is too old?


General Discussion 32

Excavating my deep freezer: how old is too old?

The Dairy Queen | May 25, 2013 02:21 AM

So, I decided to re-organize my deep freezer and one thing is clear: I really need to be cooking from my freezer more often. Apparently my strategy to this point has been stow it and forget it.

I threw away something I found that was dated 2008 (!) and a couple of things that looked obviously freezer burned, but i have a number of meats (bison and prok, primarily) from 2011 and 2012 that were professionally shrink-wrapped by the butcher when we put in a bulk meat order that look just fine. Are those still good? What about commercially packed fish or vegetables from the frozen foods section of the grocery store?

This chart (scroll all the way to the bottom) would seem to imply that a year is the absolute longest one would keep anything in the freezer "for quality", though the food would be "safe" in the freezer indefinitely. Most meats are in the few months range according to the chart.

If you were me, would you keep or toss meat, fish, or poultry that had been in the deep freezer for a year? Two years? We've never had any significant power outages... If it was professionally wrapped? If I wrapped it using my Food Saver? What if I used just ordinary freezer bags with the air pressed out and there's no obvious freezer burn? Does it matter whether the food was raw or cooked at the time I froze it (several packs of raw chicken parts still on the styrofoam tray from the supermarket; and slivered chicken or pork frozen in marinade in a Food Saver bag; Ziplock or Food Saver bags of cooked, shredded chicken or ground beef...) .

I'm also very open to hearing to your freezer-management tips at this point because I obviously need them.

Thanks everyone!


Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound