How long can you keep butchered meats safely in the freezer? I primarily wondered about hamburger and steak.
By Sharon from Omaha, NE
A lot depends on how you have it packaged. I have had venison that I 'vacuum packed' be just fine after a year of being stored at close to zero in my freezer.
Other meats that were just packed in 'butcher paper' or freezer wrap, started to dry out after a few months. After close to six months, I had to get rid of some as it was getting 'crumbly'. As they say, your mileage may vary.
I did find a package of fish at the bottom of the freezer that was about two years old. It could have passed for being petrified (grin). (01/19/2010)
This is a link which gives you information about the shelf life of lots of different foods.
You could keep it indefinitely in the freezer and it would still be "safe"...it just won't be tasty.
"...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, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness..."
Meat, uncooked steaks or chops: 4 to 12 months
Meat, uncooked ground: 3 to 4 months
As mentioned already how well it is wrapped for the freezer is what will make the difference in the quality once frozen. I have had various meats in good condition a lot longer than the time frames listed on the charts, but they were wrapped well. (01/20/2010)
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