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Frozen Food

  • Keep the freezer temperature at 0ºF or below. Freezing to 0ºF inactivates, but does not destroy, microbes such as bacteria, yeasts and molds that can be present in food. Once a frozen food is thawed, these microbes can become active and multiply to levels producing a potential health risk.

  • To maintain quality when freezing meat and poultry in its original package, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap that is recommended for freezer storage.

  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Leaving food out on the counter encourages the growth of harmful bacteria.

  • Foods can be safely thawed in three ways:
    • In a refrigerator
    • In a sealed package under cold, running water
    • In a microwave oven
  • It is important to plan ahead because food may take several hours (or days depending on the food) to thaw in the refrigerator. Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking. Foods defrosted in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
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