How to Properly Freeze Produce, Dairy and Meats!

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Do you know the secrets behind properly freezing your food? Chef Secrets is Personal Chef Bill Collins from ChefBill.com, showed us the right way to do it!

Common Freezer Mistakes

When freezing anything, DO NOT:
Use only plastic (Saran) wrap or aluminum foil
Store meats in the styrofoam tray and pads they come in from the store
Freeze warm or hot foods…harmful bacteria can form
Freezing berries in a baggie, freeze individually before placing in a bag.
Poorly wrapping foods. That’s how crystals and freezer burn happen.

Tips: Freezing Fresh Produce

Not all produce freezes well. Vegetables often doesn’t freeze well. Peas and beans freeze well.

Fruit can (and does!). Strawberry season is here. Rinse your berries, and let them dry. Freeze them on a sheet pan, and not in a clump in a baggie. Once they’re frozen, you can then transfer them to a plastic bag (a Ziploc works well), and they’ll keep for up to a year.

When freezing foods, it’s more important HOW you wrap foods than for how long you freeze them. Use heavy-duty plastic bags, storage containers, etc.

Tips: Freezing Meats/Seafood/Poultry

Can you re-freeze raw meats after freezing once?
Technically, yes. You won’t get sick from this. But the quality can/will seriously degrade

NEVER thaw foods on your counter top.
Bacteria can and will develop. Thaw overnight in fridge.

Never keep cooked foods out for more than two hours. Bacteria can and will develop.

Freezer Storage Times

Breads & Desserts
Baked bread and cookies 3 months
Cakes, pastries & doughnuts 3 months
Muffins and quick breads 3 months
Pancakes and waffles 3 months
Cookie or bread dough 1 month

Produce
Fruits 1 year
Juices 1 year
Vegetables 8 months
Nuts 3 months

Dairy & Eggs
Ice cream 2 months
Butter 9 months
Cheese 3 months
Eggs (raw, not in shells) 1 year
Milk 1 month

Meats
Ground beef, pork & stew meats 4 months
Other beef (i.e., roasts, steaks) 1 year
Lamb and veal 9 months
Ham 2 months
Pork chops 4 months
Pork roast or loin 8 months
Bacon and sausage 1 month

Poultry
Chicken and turkey (whole) 1 year
Chicken and turkey (cuts) 6 months
Ground turkey or chicken 4 months

Seafood
Fatty fish (i.e., mackerel, trout) 3 months
Lean fish (i.e., cod, flounder) 6 months
Crab 10 months
Lobster 1 year
Shrimp and scallops (unbreaded) 1 year

Miscellaneous
Casseroles (cooked) 3 months
Pasta and rice (cooked) 3 months
Soups and stews 2 months

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