Can You Eat Frozen Food Past The Expiration Date
Frozen food is often healthy and safe to eat past the expiration date but in most cases, the flavor, color, or texture of frozen food may be decreased in quality when placed in a freezer beyond the expiration time. When the frozen food gets expired, check the temperature of the food stays at 0’F.
Frozen foods The icy temperatures keep foods from spoiling, so it is usually safe to eat anything packed in a freezer beyond its expiration date. There are some different frozen foods that you will not want to put in storage beyond the expiration date, at least, not if you want to keep them tasting good. It is difficult to know how long your food is good after itas expired, and also, every food is different. In many cases, dates are conservative, so you might not notice a difference in quality if you are eating food past this date, especially if it is been recently passed.
Within reason, provided that food looks and smells the way you would expect, it should be safe to eat, even when its best before date has passed. Just because a package says that your food is supposed to be eaten at this point does not mean that it is unsafe. Food can be unsafe to eat or drink, even if it was stored properly and looks and smells good. If you purchase your frozen foods at a reputable store, you can trust the food is safe to consume.
Food-poisoning bacteria does not grow in a freezer, so regardless of the length of time that a food has been frozen, it is safe to eat. Frozen chicken (and all frozen foods) are safe to eat indefinitely, but they lose FLAVOR over longer storage. Over time, all frozen foods will degrade in quality and be unappetizing to eat once they are defrosted.
While frozen foods will remain edible in the frozen state, the longer food remains frozen, the greater the chance of adversely impacting flavor and texture. Foods that are kept frozen for months (recommended freezing times charts) might get drier, or may not have as nice of flavor, but will still be safe to eat. Even if foods stored in a freezer are not really kept at or below 0degF, they will still be kept for far longer than suggested times. The freezing times shown are only for the best-quality items: cooked meatballs kept frozen continuously at 0deg F will stay safely frozen for an undetermined amount of time.
|Shelf Life||Storing food in freezer can increase the shelf life of your food till 3-6 months|
|Flavor||Storing your foods in freezer can help retain its quality without destroying its flavor|
|Bacteria||Protects the food from bacteria and viruses such as salmonella and norovirus|
The indication means the meat may stay frozen through Dec. 31, 2016, but should not be frozen beyond this date. Stored means that even though a package says to use it in 6 months, you may safely consume it after that period of time has passed.
Around -18degC, or only around 0degF, is the temperature that most home freezers are set at, since about -18degC is the base for expiration dates for many frozen foods. 3 months is usually about how long it will take for foods that are frozen in your average household freezer to start developing freezer burn. This time frame applies to everything that you are freezing on your own: raw meat, cooked meat, prepared foods, breads, and frozen fruits and vegetables.
However, many foods (open in new window), including meats and milk, may still be frozen past their sell-by dates, so plan ahead. Although raw meats and poultry only last for a couple days in the refrigerator, you can preserve those items beyond the use-by date by freezing them.
You will see “use by>> dates on foods that will quickly expire, like smoked fish, meat products, and pre-made salads. Frozen and canned foods, especially, tend to retain quality for a while past their best-by dates. In fact, perishable foods are generally safe for consumption past the best-by date, provided that they were handled and stored correctly.
Packaged foods (cereals, pasta, cookies) will be safe beyond the best by date, though packaged foods (cereals) can become stale eventually, or have off-flavors. While eating these foods beyond their printed dates is generally not hazardous, it is possible that they may not taste as good because flavors and textures break down over time. For foods that are not refrigerated, there might be no difference in flavor or quality, and expired foods do not necessarily make people sick.
To learn about Can Worcestershire Sauce go bad if not refrigerated?, check out my other article where I cover things in detail.
Just because it is one to two days past its use-by date does not mean eating that food makes you ill, though you should judge the quality of food for yourself once it is gone.
While cooking properly and then eating a product that has been frozen at 0degF for years will not necessarily make you sick, you might not exactly love how it tastes. You might not enjoy the flavor or the dried-out texture freezer burn gives to your frozen pizza, but that does not affect the quality of the food, nor does it affect your health. That is right: As long as your freezer is connected and working properly, your frozen foods never expire, spoil, or cause health problems. That is right, just because you have got a tasty frozen pizza and a bag of tots packed in your freezer does not mean that you are going to want to store it in there for years.
You can refreeze or safely prepare refrigerated foods that are still holding ice crystals, or are 40 degrees F. or lower. Thawed or partially-thawed food in your freezer can safely be refrozen as long as the food has not gone above 40degF.
Understanding the answers to these questions will help you determine which foods you can safely refrigerate, and for how long. If you are dedicated to reducing food waste, it is important that you understand how to assess when foods in your fridge or pantry can be frozen safely. To reduce food waste, FSIS suggests that, regardless of date, consumers should assess the quality of food before they choose to eat or discard.
To learn about Can Out Of Date Pine Nuts Make You Sick, check out my other article where I cover things in detail.
USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service offers consumers a convenient guide for safely storing foods that may not have an expiration or use-by date. While expired meats frozen may seem perfectly fine for consumption, it is safer to label meat with the date it expired, in order to protect you and meat-eaters in your household from illness caused by food. For more information and guidelines about how long frozen foods last, and the non-frozen foods you decide to keep in the freezer, check out FoodSafety.gov.
How long does frozen food last after the expiration date?
Frozen fruit and vegetable packages that have not been opened are still edible eight to ten months beyond the date indicated. According to the study, unopened containers of frozen fruit and vegetables can last eight to ten months after their written expiration dates.
Can you get sick from eating old frozen food?
There is no threat of bacteria growing inside frozen food, so it can remain frozen for an indefinite period of time. Foods with expiration dates will not taste good forever; flavor and texture will deteriorate over time. Frozen foods will deteriorate in quality and become unappetizing when they are defrosted.
Is 2-year-old frozen chicken still good?
As long as the chicken is kept frozen continuously, it will remain safe indefinitely, so the expiration date on the package does not matter. It is recommended to freeze whole raw chicken for at least one year; to freeze parts for at least nine months, and to freeze giblets for at least three to four months.