When things have to be done quickly and there is no time to cook, many people like to use frozen foods. Reheated briefly, a tasty meal can be prepared quickly. Some prepare several meals at the same time on the weekend and freeze them in portions. But how long is the shelf life of frozen food and when should it be disposed of??
Whether meat, fish, vegetables or bread Many people think that frozen food can be kept forever. But this is not true. How long you should freeze food depends mainly on the amount of fat it contains.
In any case, it is important that the freezer compartment is cold enough: it should be at least -18 degrees. But even then the shelf life is very different, because residual oxygen remaining in the package contributes to the fact that despite the low temperatures slowed degradation processes take place and especially fats can become rancid. What this means in detail?
Meat should not be stored for longer than 3 to 12 months, the shelf life differs enormously from lean to fatty meat. Since the fat reacts with the residual oxygen in the package, fatty meat, such as pork belly, has a limited shelf life. In general, even frozen beef will last 10 to 12 months, veal 9 to 12 months, lean pork 6 to 8 months and lean ground beef 1 to 3 months. Chicken can be kept in the freezer for up to 10 months. However, due to increased risk of salmonella, the thawing liquid should not be used under any circumstances.
Caution: To ensure that the cold chain is not interrupted, frozen meat purchased in stores must be returned to the freezer immediately at home. Here, the best-before date indicated on the packaging is used as a guide.
Fish with high fat content should only be kept in the freezer for 1 to 3 mon.
As with meat, it depends on the fat content of the fish. Fish with a high fat content, such as salmon or eel, should only be kept in the freezer for 1 to 3 months, as the fat can also become rancid here. Lean fish such as plaice or pike-perch, on the other hand, can remain in the freezer for 6 to 8 months.
Since mushrooms have a high protein content, they are very quickly perishable. Only those that are undamaged and have been blanched briefly in salt water beforehand should be frozen. Then they keep for about 3 to 4 months. If you want to prepare frozen mushrooms, you should heat them right away without letting them thaw first- This is the only way to guarantee that they do not become mushy in the pan.
Those who freeze vegetables themselves can expect a shelf life of 6 to 12 months. It is important that the vegetables are harvested ripe and thoroughly washed. In addition, all vegetables except zucchini, eggplant and asparagus should be blanched before freezing. This kills enzymes that are responsible for quality loss during and after freezing.
Vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as tomatoes, are not suitable for freezing. Also fresh potato dishes or. raw potatoes should not be stored in the freezer, because frozen potatoes not only lose their consistency, but also taste sweet. This is because starch is constantly being converted into sugar in the tuber, which the potato needs for its metabolism. If the temperature drops below 4 degrees Celsius, the metabolism is slowed down, but sugar continues to be provided. Since this is then no longer needed in full, it accumulates in the tuber, so that the potato is unusually sweet tastes.
Most types of fruit can be frozen very well and retain their flavor even when stored for a long time. Only bananas, green grapes, watermelons and some types of cherries and plums are not suitable for freezing. Frozen fruit has a shelf life of about 12 months when sweetened and approx. 8 to 10 months. Many exotic fruit mixes, as well as plums and damsons should be used up after a maximum of 6 months.
Breads or other baked goods can be frozen well and kept for a few months. With some exceptions, bread, rolls and co. can be defrosted easily in the oven or in the toaster oven.
It is better not to freeze
Raw and boiled eggs in their shells are absolutely unsuitable for freezing, because they burst. Egg mixture from raw eggs, on the other hand, is well suited. Also not suitable for freezing are lettuces, radishes, radishes, raw onions, raw peppers, meringue, macaroons, puddings, yogurt, sour cream and thickened sauces, since they u.a. become mushy when thawed due to their high water content. Read more..
Author Meike Riebe nutritionist, vegan and a big heart for animals
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Sources:, Images: Depositphotos/belchonock, asimojet, Shebeko, svetas, text: Meike Riebe