storing food in freezer, how long can one store food?

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by KOS, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. KOS

    KOS Guest

    Hello, I have a question about storing food in the freezer.
    How long can I store fresh chicken soup in my freezer? Is it ok to have
    it a few years?

    How about storing other meats? hamburgers, steaks? how long?
    Thanks!
    KOS
     
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  2. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    x"KOS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hello, I have a question about storing food in the freezer.
    > How long can I store fresh chicken soup in my freezer? Is it ok to have
    > it a few years?
    >
    > How about storing other meats? hamburgers, steaks? how long?
    > Thanks!
    > KOS
    >


    It depends on what you mean. Safety-wise, you can store frozen food forever
    without any danger. Taste-wise, however, it is a different matter. Foods
    slowly deteriorate in the freezer and their taste and textture suffer. It
    depends on the kind of food, how it is wrapped, the temperature of the
    freezer, and whether it is frost-free or not.

    Peter Aitken
     
  3. Dimitri

    Dimitri Guest

    "KOS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hello, I have a question about storing food in the freezer.
    > How long can I store fresh chicken soup in my freezer? Is it ok to have
    > it a few years?
    >
    > How about storing other meats? hamburgers, steaks? how long?
    > Thanks!
    > KOS


    For all intents and purposes frozen food can be stored almost indefinitely.

    The dangers are as follows:

    1. Freezing will destroys the texture of most foods. This happens and
    the ice crystals form and break apart the tissue. however once frozen there
    is little further deterioration.
    2. Frost free freezers eliminate the frost by circulating the air within
    the freezer. If air is allowed to pass over the food the ice (moisture) on
    the surface of the food is reduced further and further. A burn is the
    removal of moisture in tissue - that is why it's called freezer BURN. The
    integrity of the wrap covering the food varies greatly this is the reason
    they sell "Freezer Wrap".
    3. IIRC chem. 101 all molecular activity stops at absolute zero since our
    freezers are much above that level of cold there is still some motion within
    the food which will cause some level of deterioration.
    4. Since the moisture content of foods differ greatly there is no
    universal rule.
    5. On a final note the defrosting method greatly effects the texture and
    moisture content of the defrosted food. The ideal is called tempering -
    defrosting over several days in the refrigerator. The theory is the ice that
    has formed within the food will be reabsorbed into the tissue.

    Dimitri

    Dimitri
     
  4. Hahabogus

    Hahabogus Guest

    "KOS" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Hello, I have a question about storing food in the freezer.
    > How long can I store fresh chicken soup in my freezer? Is it ok to have
    > it a few years?
    >
    > How about storing other meats? hamburgers, steaks? how long?
    > Thanks!
    > KOS
    >


    Mastadons found frozen for eons in Glaciers have been eaten with no ill
    health effects. So there is little to fear from bacterial or viruses in
    frozen foods. The texture and appearance is a different matter entirely.

    As freezers freeze some cell walls are burst...softening foods. As the
    frost free fridges freeze dry those foods, they toughen up or dry out in
    weird ways.

    I feel Soups would be effected the least, so I would consider a year or
    so no problem for a soup sealed well and stored in a freezer.

    If you want to experiment put 2 tomatoes in your freezer...well sealed in
    different plastic bags, defrost and examine one after a week note it's
    mushy-ness and general condition and taste. Defrost and examine the
    other after 6 months.

    Most manufacturers of freezers have charts showing storage of standard
    food stuffs, also university extension offices.

    Google is your friend...http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/e-320.pdf

    for vegetables you can look up meats yourself.

    http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/hesguide/foodnut/gh1504.htm

    --
    No Bread Crumbs were hurt in the making of this Meal.
    Type 2 Diabetic 1AC 5.6mmol or 101mg/dl
    Continuing to be Manitoban
     
  5. --

    -- Guest

    "KOS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hello, I have a question about storing food in the freezer.
    > How long can I store fresh chicken soup in my freezer? Is it ok to have
    > it a few years?
    >
    > How about storing other meats? hamburgers, steaks? how long?
    > Thanks!
    > KOS
    >



    refrigerator freezers are ususally not cold enough to stop most bacteria and
    breakdown- they just slow them way down.
    you have to be 0 F or below - home freezer temp, e.g. to effectively halt
    breakdown from organisms and enzymes.

    some rules of thumb - from memory

    refirgerator freezers - the books say about two weeks, maybe four for
    anything - self-defrosting are less.

    vegetables and fruits lose vitamins pretty quickly above 0F - half-life of a
    week or two in a refrig freezer, I think.

    Sausages, weiners, etc. in a home freezer at 0F - six weeks, maybe, before
    flavor falls off.

    most fish and poultry and fatty meat is about 3 months in a 0 F home
    freezer, other lean meats about six months.
    At -10 or -20, you can store longer.

    You need to seal the stored item in a saran plastic (not poly), and then in
    aluminum foil done in a "pharmacy wrap" for longer storage, otherwise you
    get freezer burn.

    (pharmacy wrap is where you bring the final edges together above the item
    and then fold about an inch of the two edges over on themselves at least
    twice)
     
  6. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Guest

    KOS wrote:

    > Hello, I have a question about storing food in the freezer.
    > How long can I store fresh chicken soup in my freezer? Is it ok to have
    > it a few years?


    Yes.

    > How about storing other meats? hamburgers, steaks? how long?


    That depends a lot on what kind of freezer you have, and how well the
    meat is wrapped. If you have a typical frost-free refrigerator freezer,
    the meat will deteriorate significantly in a few months unless it is
    wrapped extremely well. Even then it will deteriorate noticably in less
    than a year. If you have a dedicated "deep freezer", properly wrapped
    meat will store OK for years, and poorly wrapped meat will still be OK
    for quite a few months.

    I have the best results wrapping meat with "freezer paper", which looks
    like white butcher paper but it has a thin plastic coating on one side
    (the inside).

    I have 2 deep freezers, one is frost-free and the other isn't. There's
    no noticable difference between the two for meat stored in them a year
    or two if wrapped in butcher paper. If I just freeze the meat as it
    came from the store or in regular plastic bags, it does much better for
    long storage in the non-frost-free freezer.

    Best regards,
    Bob
     
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