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Shelf Life of Frozen Meat

Frozen Meat

Freezing meat is a great way to preserve it, however, you may wonder just how long it will keep. This is a guide about the shelf life of frozen meat.

     

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Here are questions related to Shelf Life of Frozen Meat.

Question: Shelf Life of Frozen Pork Ribs

I have some pork ribs that have been frozen since 2006. Other than taste, are they still good?

By Margaret

Question: Shelf Life of Frozen Ham

My mom has several fully cooked hams in her freezer. Some are as old as five years. She wants to eat them. Are they still good?

By Joanie from South Norfolk, VA

Question: Shelf Life of Frozen Meat

I have got a joint of lamb that has been frozen for 14 months. Do you think that is taking a risk eating it?

By R.Rumsby from Cornwall, England


Best Answers

By lavonneann01/26/2011

According to Still Tasty frozen food is safe to eat indefinitely though it may be beyond its best taste.


Best Answers

By KL01/20/2010

You could keep it indefinately 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.