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How Long Can You Keep Food Frozen?

Excerpt from the Popular Kitchen Series magabook Canning & Preserving with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Canning & Preserving here.

Frozen foods can be kept safe almost indefinitely, though the taste and quality might be affected, according to the USDA. If a food smells peculiar when it is defrosted, throw it out. Other food might look unappealing when thawed, but it can be used in soups, casseroles and stews so long as the food does not smell or taste unusual.

You can keep most items frozen for a year, assuming the food has been properly packaged and stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. A more conservative approach from the NCHFP is outlined below:

  • fruits and vegetables: up to a year
  • poultry: nine months
  • fish: six months
  • meat: four months
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