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How Long Should I Freeze my Food?

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What is the average storage life of foods stored in the freezer?  I did a little research on the Internet, and I found some nifty charts.  A good idea would be to hang a chart on an inside cabinet or on the fridge to refer to when I am wondering if the frozen fish is still safe to eat.

What I learned from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service site is that frozen food can remain safe indefinitely as long as it stays frozen.  If food is frozen too long, freezer burn or discoloring may occur affecting the taste and quality of the food.  Below is a chart that will help cooks to decide if the food they wish to eat is still of good quality.

Freezer Storage Chart (0 °F)
Note: Freezer storage is for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.



Bacon and Sausage 1-2 months
Casseroles 2-3 months
Egg Whites or Egg Substitutes 12 months
Frozen Dinners or Entrees 3-4 months
Gravy, Meat, or Poultry 2-3 months
Ham, Hotdogs, or Lunchmeat 1-2 months
Meats, Uncooked Roasts 4-12 months
Meat, uncooked steaks or chops 4-12 months
Meat, uncooked ground 3-4 months
Meat, cooked 2-3 months
Poultry, uncooked whole 12 months
Poultry, uncooked parts 9 months
Poultry, uncooked giblets 3-4 months
Poultry, cooked 4 months
Soups, Chili, and Stews 2-3 months
Wild game, uncooked 12 months

You can check out more food safety facts at the USDA site

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