Our refrigerators are a repository of all kinds of leftovers and freezers help to extend the expiry of many perishable foods. A packet of processed food, raw chicken or meat, curries, soups and stews and so much more can go in to a freezer giving these foods longevity. However, food items cannot be kept in the freezer forever, considering they are perishable in nature and will eventually get stale. Have you ever given a thought to how long these foods can actually sustain in a freezer? You could keep them for as long as you like but there would definitely be a loss of taste and quality after a period of time. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), since product dates aren’t a guide for safe use of a product, there are time limits that are given to certain foods in order to prevent them from spoiling.What foods are generally stored in the freezer?
Foods that can be stored in a freezer may include eggs, fresh poultry, sausages, meat leftovers, curries, soups and stews, hot dogs, fish and vegetables like peas, sprouts and beans.Foods that you should not store in the freezer
This list includes coffee, buttermilk
, puddings, salads and salad dressing
, carbonated drinks, lettuce, potatoes (unless they are mashed), mayonnaise
, sour cream, custards, apples, melons and eggplant among others.
According to Dietitian and Nutritionist, Dr. Sunali Sharma from Amandeep Hospital, possible for everyone, “Cooked or uncooked food, when stored in a freezer would technically be preserved forever, but they would not taste the same forever. These foods when taken out, thawed and cooked would lack the freshness, and you will miss the flavours & textures of the fresh foods. This may be avoided when the foods are vacuum packed and then stored.”
(Also read: Shelf Life of Common Foods: Toss or Keep
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Here is how long some regular foods last in the freezer as suggested by Dr. Sharma. Some of these are shocking!1. Eggs
should not be stored in the freezer. Also, do not store hard-cooked eggs in the freezer as they may not freeze well.2. Fresh poultry and meat
Fresh whole raw chicken
stays for about one year in a freezer while fresh chicken in parts can stay up to nine months. Meat; from steaks to chops and roasts can stay from 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
Meat; from steaks to chops and roasts can stay from 4 to 6 months in the freezer
3. Cooked poultry and meat leftovers
Fried chicken can thrive till about four months, chicken curries with pieces can stay up to three months and chicken nuggets or patties can stay till two months. Cooked mutton can also stay up to three months.4. Soups and cooked vegetable curry
Vegetable or meat added soups or stews can stay up to 2-3 months in a freezer and not more than 3-4 days in a refrigerator. Cooked vegetable curries if stored properly can stay up to three months.5. Fruits
If you are freezing fresh fruits
, remember they can stay up to four months, however, there is a chance, they may lose the taste or flavour completely.
If you are freezing fresh fruits, remember they can stay up to four months6. Beans and peas
Peas can be stored for 3-4 months, while beans can be kept for about two months.
7. Ice cream
Ice creams can be stored for about two months; however, it is generally advised that you should consume it within a few days after opening the pack, considering it is a dairy product and it may get infected with bacteria causing stomach problems.
Ice creams can be stored for about two months
All these foods should be stored in proper containers along with a label mentioning the date you kept them in the freezer so as to keep a tab on their expiry. It is generally recommended that you must try not to consume foods that have been stored for more than a month.