Nutrition

How long is it safe to freeze food for?

Clear cut time for freezing foods

I puree my baby’s food and then freeze it in ice cube trays. Sometimes I can leave it in the freezer for months. Is that safe?

 I puree my baby’s food and then freeze it in ice cube trays. Sometimes I can leave it in the freezer for months. Is that safe? 

 

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The following are maximum suggested freezing times for foods kept at 0C/32F:

 

Vegetable purees 1-2 months

Fruit purees 1 year

Bean, lentil, pea soups 2 months

Fish, cooked 2 months

Poultry, cooked 3 months

Ham or pork, cooked 1 month

Beef or lamb, cooked 4 months 

 

 

 

What Can You Freeze?

You can freeze almost any food. There are some exceptions like canned food. But some food simply do not freeze well.

 

Is Frozen Food Safe?

Food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules.

 

Does Freezing Destroy Bacteria & Parasites?

Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds — present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.

 

Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict government-supervised conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. Thorough cooking, however, will destroy all parasites.

 

Freshness & Quality

Freshness and quality at the time of freezing affect the condition of frozen foods. If frozen at peak quality, thawed foods emerge tasting better than foods frozen near the end of their useful life. So freeze items you won't use quickly sooner rather than later. Store all foods at 0° F or lower to retain vitamin content, color, flavor and texture.

 

Nutrient Retention

The freezing process itself does not destroy nutrients. In meat and poultry products, there is little change in nutrient value during freezer storage.

 

 

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