Things You Shouldn’t Freeze
Posted on Thursday, October 31st, 2013 at 7:00 am
Have you been stockpiling frozen food in your freezer? People who are new to stockpiling may believe that you can freeze food forever. This is not true! Frozen food still has an expiration date. There are also some foods that you shouldn’t freeze and stockpile in your freezer.
Yes, food that has been frozen will last longer than food that sits in your refrigerator (or in your pantry). Those who are new to stockpiling may be very tempted to take advantage of a sale and buy way more food than your family could hope to eat before it goes bad. Some things can be frozen, for a while.
The Food and Drug Administration does not recommend that you freeze everything. There are some foods that you shouldn’t freeze. Follow good food safety guidelines with your stockpile, and do not freeze the following foods:
Things you should not freeze – ever
* Fresh eggs that are still in the shell
* Packages of egg substitutes that have been opened
* Commercial mayonnaise
* Leaf lettuce
* Iceberg lettuce
* Store-prepared salads
* Homemade salads
* Canned ham (with a label that says “keep refrigerated”)
Things that do not freeze well
* Hardcooked eggs
* Cottage cheese
Other important tips
* Set your home freezer to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. It is advisable to occasionally check the temperature with an appliance thermometer.
* Any cut or peeled produce that is left at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be discarded. Do not freeze it. It will not be safe to eat later on, and may not freeze well.
* Bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes that the food is left in room temperature. Freeze prepared foods and leftovers within 2 hours.
* Divide large amounts of food into small portions before you freeze it. This will make it easier to thaw out exactly what you need (and avoid waste).
* Never thaw foods at room temperature. The FDA says it is safer to thaw frozen foods by placing them in your refrigerator (instead of on your counter). It takes 24 hours for 4 or 5 pounds of food to thaw.
* Yes, you can thaw food in the microwave. However, if you choose to do that, make sure you cook that food right away.
* What about leftovers from Thanksgiving? Remove the stuffing from the turkey (or other poultry) before refrigerating or freezing it. Place gravy, potatoes, and other vegetables into shallow containers before freezing.