Shelf Life of Frozen Meat

How long can you keep butchered meats safely in the freezer? I primarily wondered about hamburger and steak.

By Sharon from Omaha, NE

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Answers:

Shelf Life of Frozen Meat

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)

By duanedv

Shelf Life of Frozen Meat

This is a link which gives you information about the shelf life of lots of different foods.


http://www.stilltasty.com/ (01/19/2010)

By HoneyGirl1946

Shelf Life of Frozen Meat

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

Source:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp

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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By Kaelle

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