Freezer Tips & Tricks

March 1, 2024

March is Frozen Food Month! Today we’ll answer commonly asked questions about freezer food and safety.

Is frozen food less nutritious?

Produce is commercially frozen at the peak of freshness so it is a great alternative to canned or fresh produce depending on your shopping budget and freezer space. For a lot of produce, the price for fresh produce will vary throughout the year. Frozen produce may be the most affordable option for out-of-season foods.

Frozen meats and prepared foods (such as chicken nuggets, burritos, TV dinners, etc.) often contain more sodium than freshly made foods. Please keep this in mind if you’re preparing food for someone who is watching their sodium intake.

Can I freeze liquids like milk and soup?

You can freeze liquids but since liquid expands when cold, make sure to leave some room at the top of the container.

Is it safe to eat food with freezer burn?

Freezer burn usually appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on food that was not wrapped in air-tight packaging. Freezer burn affects the quality of the food (the taste and texture) but is still safe to eat.

How long can I leave food in the freezer?

Over time, the quality of the food will decrease. This means that color, flavor, and texture can all be affected. Frozen food stays safe to eat for a long time but most will taste best if eaten within 3-4 months. Date and label all stored food to help eat the oldest food first.

How do I safely thaw frozen foods?

You can thaw food in the fridge overnight or, for larger items, it may take a few days. If you’re short on time you can thaw food in the microwave but carefully monitor this. Due to hot spots the food may not thaw out evenly. You can also immerse the frozen food (sealed) in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until fully thawed. Thawing food on the counter is not recommended due to food safety issues.

Your freezer is a useful tool for meal planning and healthy eating. We hope this blog post will inspire you to make the most of it!

by Carolyn Alecia Negley, RD

Nutrition Education Manager