Home / Food / Here’s How Long Common Foods Can Last In Your Freezer Before They Spoil

Here’s How Long Common Foods Can Last In Your Freezer Before They Spoil

By Andrew Alpin, 10 December 2017

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Have you ever felt uneasy about eating frozen food in your refrigerator thinking it may have gone bad? Be it a chicken casserole, a steak or a strawberry pudding, it can make you extremely indecisive not knowing whether you should eat it or not especially if it’s been too long in the freezer. How long can foods be frozen is a problem in every household which is why the following information can help you know how long you can freeze certain foods till they are considered safe to eat. Printing out the information is recommended so that you can refer to it like a chart and freeze food accordingly.

1 Stick a label on each food before freezing

One of the best pieces of advice where frozen food is concerned is to put a label on it so that you will know exactly how long you have kept in the freezer. You’ll be surprised to know how long certain foods should be stored instead of keeping them in your freezer for months on end. A frosted cake can be frozen only for a month, now you know why cake eaten after a month may taste funny. 

Stick a label on each food

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2 Some foods should not be frozen at all

There are certain foods that you just can’t freeze like eggs. Even though some people may tell you that you can, the truth is a freezer label chart says that you can for a month while the Food safety department of the government says that you can freeze egg whites up to a year but says you can’t freeze egg yolk because they don’t freeze well. The best way to freeze eggs is to remove them from the shell first. The chart mentions that you can keep raw egg yolks in the refrigerator section for 2 to 4 days but they can’t be frozen. Raw egg whites can be frozen upto 12 months but raw eggs in a shell should not be frozen instead beat yolks and whites together; then freeze. 

dont put eggs in freezeer

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3 Meat and fish

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Meat and fish have different freezing times. Lean fish can be frozen up to six months but a fatty fish like salmon can only be frozen for two or three months at the most. Pork steak and roasts can be frozen upto a year while turkey ground meat can be frozen for upto 4 months. 

Meat and fish

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4 What happens to frozen food?

As per theory freezing food stops bacterial growth so that means theoretically speaking it can be used indefinitely. But!! As you very well know from experience that food does degenerate over time. That is why it is important to follow the freezing time for different types of food. This way you can be sure of consuming something which has not spoiled and will save you trips to the doctor or prevent food poisoning. 

What happens to frozen food

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5 Frozen Storage Time For Bread AND Desserts

  • Baked bread rolls -2-3 months
  • Unbaked bread rolls -1 month
  • Baked cookies-6 to 8 months
  • Cookie dough-3 months
  • Baked frosted cake -1 month
  • Baked fruit pies-6 to 8 months
  • Unbaked fruit pies – 2 to 4 months
  • Baked pumpkin /pecan pies- 1 to 2 months
  • Cheesecake-2 to 3 months
  • Baked muffins-6 to 12 months
  • Pancakes-3 months
  • Waffle- 1month

Storage Time For Bread

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6Frozen Storage Time For Meat Products

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  • Lamb and veal -9 months
  • Pork chops-4 to 6 months
  • Pork roasts-4 to 12 months
  • Steaks-6 to 12 months
  • Beef chops 4 to 5 months
  • Beef roast-upto 12 month
  • Whole Chicken and Turkey- upto 12 months
  • Chicken and Turkey parts- upto 9 months
  • Ground pork, ground turkey-3 to 4 months
  • Tongue, liver, kidneys, heart-3 to 4 months
  • Chicken and meat-3 to 4 months
  • Venison-3 to 4 months
  • Cooked Ham -2 months
  • Opened canned ham -1 to 2 months
  • Raw hamburger-3-4 months
  • Bacon-1 month
  • Sausages-1 to 2 months
  • Cooked meat 2 – 3 months
  • Freezer wrapped hotdogs-1 to 2 months
  • Fried Chicken -4 months
  • Cooked poultry items-4 to 6 months
  • Chicken nuggets-1 to 3 months

 Storage Time For Meat Products

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7Frozen Storage Time For Seafood

  • Lean fish- 6 months
  • Fatty Fish-2 to 3 months
  • Cooked fish- 4 to 6 months
  • Smoked fish – 2months
  • Lobster-12 months
  • Crab -10 months
  • Fresh shrimp, scallops, squid and clams -3 to 6 months
  • Live clams mussels and Oysters-2 to 3 months
  • Canned seafood-2 months

Frozen Storage Time For Seafood

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8Frozen Storage Time For, Vegetables, Broths And Stews

  • Citrus fruit- 3 months
  • All other fruit-9 to 12months
  • Nuts-3 months
  • Vegetables-8 to 12 months
  • Meat broth-2 to 3 months
  • Meat soups-2 to 3 months
  • Stew meat- 3 to 4 month
  • Vegetable soups-2 3 month

Storage Time For, Vegetables, Broths And Stews

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9Frozen Storage Time Of Beverages

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  • Milk-3 to 6 months
  • Homemade juice-6 months
  • Concentrate juice- 2 months

Frozen Storage Time Of Beverages

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10 Freezing Time Of Miscellaneous Items

  • Cooked casserole-3 months
  • Casserole with eggs-1 to 2 months
  • Cooked rice and Pasta-3 months
  • Lunch meats-1 to 2 months
  • Pizza – 1 to 2 months
  • Spices and herbs-12 months
  • TV dinners-3 to 4 months

Freezing Time Of Miscellaneous Items

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11 Here’s What You Should Never Freeze

  • Hard-boiled eggs, Eggs in shell
  • Deli products, Coffee
  • Mayonnaise, sour cream
  • Buttermilk, cream cheese
  • Puddings, pies and custards
  • Salads (Chicken, ham, tuna, macaroni, egg)
  • Bottled salad dressings
  • Unopened canned ham,
  • Canned fish
  • Uncooked pasta, rice
  • Cereal, apples, melons, artichokes, eggplant
  • Lettuce, potatoes, radishes, sprouts
  • Carbonated drinks, beer

What You Should Never Freeze

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12 The temperature setting of your freezer and tips for freezing

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Your freezer temperature should always be set at 0 ° F or (-18°C). This maintains proper freezing and applicable to the above-frozen storage timings. Food should be packaged tightly in airtight wrapping and always be labeled with the date you store it in the freezer.

All food should be frozen when it is ripe or at its peak of freshness which means you should store it immediately when you purchase it and not after a few days of remaining in your refrigerator. Eggs and potatoes don’t freeze well as it has been mentioned. Liquid foods can expand in cold or frozen temperature so when you store them, you should leave adequate space in the container. This should be observed when freezing beverages. 

girl putting items in freeze

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13 Always chill and refrigerate promptly, here’s why

Did you know that disease-causing bacteria and germs can easily grow on perishable food items within two hours of being out in the open? This is why you should refrigerate them immediately. During summer if the tempera tire happens to be more than 90° F or higher, then that time needs to decrease by one hour. Refrigerating food promptly can keep you and your family safe from food poisoning.

Never thaw your food on a counter as it can also attract bacteria. Always thaw frozen food in cold water, in a microwave or in the refrigerator itself. In case you don’t have time for thawing, you can cook food from the frozen state itself but that will prolong the cooking time by 50% longer than fully thawed meat or poultry. Also!! You should never marinate food on a counter but keep it in a refrigerator to avoid bacterial growth. Now you know how long can foods be frozen and other tips, it would be advisable to practice them regularly to prevent illness. 

Always chill and refrigerate promptly

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