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Thread: How Long Do You Keep Frozen Items (frozen leftovers)

  1. #1
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    Question How Long Do You Keep Frozen Items (frozen leftovers)

    I'm planning my week's menu and went to the freezer and refrigerator to see what was on hand. Times flies, because I found some items in my freezer that were dated last summer...no, wait, that would be summer before last (2004!) Would you still eat them? I've heard both ways on this issue....that frozen food is good forever VS. freezing only slows the process of food spoilage, but does not halt it.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Six months is the end of the line for me when it comes to frozen leftovers (or anything else for that matter).
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  3. #3
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    Personally, I wouldn't worry about cooked food as long as it wasn't more than a year old AND wasn't ice-encrusted AND didn't have obvious freezer burn or other deterioration. But summer 2004? Hmmm ... I probably wouldn't chance it.

  4. #4
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    On this point, I'm Danger Mouse. Generally if something is still well sealed and has no obvious freezer burn, I'll defrost and eat it. Sometimes the texture is a little ooky and sometimes the quality/flavor is noticeably diminished, but I haven't gotten sick ever. Note that I will only do this with ME--if it's something that DBF is going to be eating as well, I have stricter standards because he has GI issues and has a huge aversion to any kind of freezer burn (whereas I tend to ignore it/trim it off). Something like soup or stew that had been frozen 16 months, I wouldn't think twice about it, I'd use it in a flash (assuming it's still well sealed)

  5. #5
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    I'd pitch it (container and all, probably!). Not sure if I'd be scared of it or just icked out, but either way I'd be unlikely to eat it. I try not to freeze things for exactly that reason! I forget it's there and then it's "oops, might as well toss it."

    I did just find some pizza sauce tucked away in a cupboard with a "best by" date somewhere in '03.

  6. #6
    I tend to err on the side of caution, so think 6 months would definitely be the limit for me. I agree, summer 2004 is probably a bit too long. Sorry you have to waste the food!

  7. #7
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    I tend to go ahead and reheat no matter how long it's been in there. UNLESS there's a ton of ice on it. Once it's heated I taste it and if it doesn't taste awful from the freezer burn I go ahead and eat it. I've never gotten sick from doing this.

  8. #8
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    Just as I figured...we all seem to split into two separate groups on this one!

    I've decided to throw most of this "older" stuff away. It's mainly things like cranberry sauce (from Thanksgiving, even found one container from Nov 2003), several containers of mango salsa, some frozen pasta sauce, and frozen beans. I must be better at using frozen meats within a reasonable time. I'm lucky to have a fair sized freezer. The downside is that things just get lost.

    Thankfully, I'm obsessive about labeling and dating everything that goes into freezer. Do you all do that? I think that's one of the things that people either do all the time or never do.

  9. #9
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    We've eaten meat from 2004 that was sealed in Foodsaver bags with no problems.

    I'm with Gil, if it isn't growing an iceberg, we'll eat it.
    *Susan*

    "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

    A.A. Milne

  10. #10
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    In my experience, it goes to flavor rather than health.

    I've tossed stuff when it was obviously freezer burned but I tend to do that with raw ingredients because I don't want to go to the trouble of cooking something with inferior (i.e. freezer burned ingredients).

    With cooked foods, I will generally use even if there is ice because I can always make a determination NOT to eat when it comes out of the microwave oven in which case I would heat a can of soup.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintersummer
    I think that's one of the things that people either do all the time or never do.
    That would be "never," or at least "very seldom" here. :-)

  12. #12
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    I'm afraid I'm with SWQuilts. I too have a food saver. I do have some things that I haven't put thru the saver, But, those are the things that we will be eating with the next week. So Glad that I have one.!

  13. #13
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    I don't look at the dates, just at the food itself. I think the only thingd I've thrown away are the occasional meat that looked too freezer burned, or frozen veggies - stuff like corn and beans tends to grow ice crystals easily and start to look dried out and not so good - too much surface area (note to self: ask for Food Saver for Christmas!). But a sauce, or a leftover-whatever that is really exposed only on the top, I don't throw out. Every once in a while I go through a period where I really try to use up most of what's in the freezer before starting to stock up again.

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