Is it safe to eat boneless skinless chicken breasts that were frozen for one year?
By Debbie from IL
April 19, 2011
You really should use food within 6 months. Never eat freezer burnt food. We freeze food to take advantage of sales and to keep food we grow in the garden but with stores so close to most of us and sales going on all the time it really isn't necessary to buy food and freeze it for a year. Rotate it and use it up.
April 19, 2011
Coming from an old farm family I know how it can get lost in the freezer.
1. Is it freezer burnt and real bad, cook it for the dogs and give them a treat.
2. Just a little burnt. Thaw it out in a tablespoon of vinegar to the pan of water you thaw the meat in and if it smells after thawing no.
The vinegar will actually tenderize and take the freezer smell out. The meat should still be good. A good rule of thumb is on chicken and turkey or store bought cook within 2 months because they already keep it too long. I have had chicken in the freezer for over a year and it not even show any freezer burn. Use your best judgment and your nose if it has a bad smell throw away....if slimey throw away.
April 19, 2011
Thanks for the info. I defrosted the chicken breasts and they have no freezer burn, were not slimy,had no off smell. I washed them off in cold water and then have them marinating in terriyaki sauce and my husband will grill tonight. I am not worried that they will be bad at this point but perhaps will not taste so good. They indeed got lost in the deep freeze and we'll have to be more careful in the future. Also these got frozen before we invested in a vacuum sealer but they were wrapped very well. If I remember I'll let ya know how they turn out.
April 20, 2011
I am the one who posted the question. We ate the chicken last night and it was perfectly fine. After marinating my husband grilled and they were tender, juicy and delicious. I will be more careful in the future to use up meats sooner though!
I have just had to clean out my freezer of its meat, as both my husband and I had stomach upsets after eating chicken that had come from the freezer. How long can various meats be stored in the freezer before it is unsafe to use?
Food in the freezer should be safe to eat indefinitely. Freezing for too long of time only affects the taste, texture or quality of the meat, and not the safety of the meat.
As long as the meat was handled properly BEFORE it was frozen and then handled properly after you take it out of the freezer to cook (NOT defrosted on the counter, etc.), it should be safe to eat.
Another thing to check would be to make sure your freezer was working ok, the seals on the doors are still good etc, no one left the door ajar, or there were no power outages.
There is a lot of info at this link, and there is a chart at the bottom for how long it is suggested to have meat in the freezer before quality starts to get affected:
Hope you are feeling better! (02/12/2008)
Make sure your plastic wrap doesn't have any holes in it and your containers have tightly fitting lids so that your food won't get exposed to air. I once had some very expensive beef spoil because the plastic wrap had a little hole I didn't notice. (02/12/2008)
Kaelle brings up a lot of important points. You must handle meats properly before you freeze them.
Invest in a vacuum sealer, and your meats will be fine for a year. While it may cost a little more to use a vacuum sealer, it's cheaper than throwing out things that you forgot in the freezer. Also, mark everything you 'seal' with the date you put it in there, so you know which packages to use first. (02/12/2008)
By Home Hubby
Thanks for this wonderful site. Have saved many pages from it and printed out several others. Great information. (02/13/2008)
I have had some cuts of beef and pork in my freezer for two years, can I cook and eat them?
As long as the meat's been stored at a proper frozen temperature, there shouldn't be any food safety issue. Chances are it will suffer from freezer burn and some loss of texture and flavor, though. I've cooked meat this old, although I braised it or used it in soup. A nice, rich tomato based sauce or broth will do wonders for masking any loss of quality. (12/15/2009)
RE: Freezing Time. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/freezer_shelf_life.html and http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/gen_freeze.html
These sites will give you all the freezing information you will want on all foods. If your meat remained properly frozen, it is most likely still good just not very tasty. Freezer burned, and only good tasting for soups. Remove all the air from your package before sealing and double wrap it. This helps to stop freezer burning. (12/15/2009)