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)
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