When it comes to safety, there is room for it in every area of life. As with everything, freezer cooking has some important safety precautions to remember. It is important to pay attention to the tips and implement them. Here are a few tips on food safety for freezer meals.
- If you’re making extra food at one meal for future meals, separate and refrigerate the portion to be served later before you put the food on the table. This keeps food quality higher and helps keep food safe.
- Keep an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and in your freezer. This helps to assure they stay at 40 F or lower in the refrigerator and 0 F or lower in the freezer. You can find thermometers at a discount, hardware, grocery or other stores that sells kitchen cooking tools.
- Cool foods to refrigerator temperature before bagging them for your freezer. It is ok to refrigerate foods while they’re still warm. Once you are ready to refrigerate food, cover it loosely. Doing so will allows heat to escape and protects the food from accidental cross contamination.
- Do not thaw perishable foods at room temperature. If perishable foods are left at room temperature too long, bacteria may grow and produce heat-resistant toxins that can cause food-borne illness. Your family does not need that.
- To avoid mystery meats and other foods of unknown age and possibly origin, label foods using freezer tape, gummed freezer labels or permanent marker. When you label include the name of the food, packaging date, and additional information like is the food sliced or chopped.
- Freeze food in the freezer safe containers or bags. Containers and bags that are not freezer safe allow air in and cause freezer bite. The food will also not last as long.
- Pay attention the packages date of the food you freeze. In general food that has been frozen last from 3 to 6 months. Take inventory every so often of what it in your freezer and pay attention to foods that have freezer bite, meats that have blue of green spots on them, and food that is outdated. Throw it out.
When it comes to freezing your food ahead of time, you want to be sure to be safe. Freezer cooking is a safe way to make meals ahead and using these tips will help you to keep it that way. Follow the ideas listed here and successfully freeze your food every time.
Ready to learn more about freezer cooking? Freezer Cooking Made Simple.