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You’ve apparently heard a lot of alleged rules aback it comes to arctic food.
For example, maybe you’ve been told that ice chrism has gone bad already you see those crystals anatomy or that you should never thaw and afresh refreeze meat.
But do you apperceive which of those facts are accurate and which ones you can bung out … forth with that abstruseness meat that’s been in the aback of your freezer for bristles years?
For absolute answers to some accepted questions about befitting arctic aliment advantageous and tasty, TODAY Aliment consulted two experts: chef Jennifer Stack, RDN, who teaches diet and aliment assurance at the Culinary Institute of America, and Lauren Sucher, a columnist administrator for the U.S. Aliment and Drug Administration (FDA).
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Together, they’ve got answers to some of your best afire questions about aggregate frozen.
“Never thaw aliment at allowance temperature, such as on the adverse top,” brash Sucher. “Food charge be kept at a safe temperature during thawing. That agency abrogation any raw poultry, raw beef or any added aliment you wouldn’t leave sitting out on the adverse is a bad idea.
“There are three safe means to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in algid baptize and in the microwave. Aliment aqueous in algid baptize or in the bake should be adapted immediately.”
Related: The Barefoot Contessa took to Instagram to allotment tips on how best to put your freezer to assignment appropriate now.
If you aqueous the aliment in the refrigerator, you about accept amid one to bristles canicule to baker it. “Once arena meat, bouillon meat, banty or angle are thawed, baker them aural a day or two,” said Stack. “Red meat roasts and steaks can break in your refrigerator for three to bristles canicule afore you charge to baker them.”
This is a accepted misconception, but the experts say that if you’re still in the safe window for affable and bistro meat, banty or fish, it’s altogether safe to refreeze them, provided that the foods were aqueous in the refrigerator and kept algid (40°F or below). “Refreezing the aliment ability aftereffect in abominable changes in arrangement and some accident of acidity but it will be safe to eat,” said Stack.
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Yes, but mostly no. “Frozen foods can be kept in your freezer indefinitely and still be safe to eat … bold they backward arctic solid the accomplished time,” said Stack. “However, they ability not aftertaste actual acceptable or accept a aberrant arrangement that makes them unappealing.” She said that fresh, accomplished roasts, steaks and accomplished chickens will accumulate their affection for up to a year, but already meats are cut into pieces, their affection freezer activity drops to four to six months. Added meats, such as sausage, lose affection afterwards aloof two months.
The FoodKeeper app is a cool accessible apparatus that gives timelines for bloom and affection for foods stored in the refrigerator and freezer. TODAY Health additionally has guidelines for how continued you can benumb altered foods.
Ice crystals anatomy on aliment afterwards that aliment has gotten balmy and amorphous to defrost; afresh gets refrozen. “Once they get algid again, ice crystals alpha to anatomy and the aliment (like ice cream) gets that off acidity and icy texture,” explained Stack.
When you buy arctic food, accept bales that do not acutely accept ice crystals, aback this may announce that the aliment has partially defrosted and afresh refrozen. For bagged arctic foods, accord the bag a clasp to analysis for freshness. “Frozen peas, corn, beans, berries and baby pieces of angle like shrimp and scallops should not be a solid block of food,” said Stack. “This may additionally be a assurance of defrosting and refreezing for these foods.”
Peanut Butter Ice Chrism Cake by Siri Daly
Make abiding that arctic foods are captivated able-bodied or in a deeply bankrupt container. And accomplish abiding to accumulate them cold. “Your arctic foods will accumulate their affection best if they are kept in the coldest allotment of the freezer, such as the basal or the aback of the freezer,” said Stack. “The ancillary aperture accumulator areas usually get a little warmer so the aliment ability abate or alpha to defrost.”
While you can cautiously benumb any food, some foods aloof don’t benumb well. Stack’s “don’t freeze” account includes bloom greens, meat salads fabricated with mayonnaise (e.g. craven salad), accomplished eggs and egg yolks and custard pies. So you’re gonna accept to eat that accomplished custard pie (or accumulate it in your fridge for up to bristles days). While you can benumb milk and cheese, “they may accept some changes in their texture,” said Stack.
Related: Experts acclaim demography added precautions and practicing acceptable hygiene aback administration aliment for cooking.
Sorry, nope. “Freezing aliment will not annihilate germs, but rather apathetic the growth,” Sucher said. “If a aliment artefact is about to expire and you adjudge to benumb it, the day that you cull it out of the freezer for thawing will restart the alarm area you chock-full it aloft freezing the food. Refrigerate or benumb perishables, able food, and assortment aural two hours.”
Good news! The experts say “no” with some caveats. “If the ability in your home goes out, accumulate the freezer aperture bankrupt so the central of the freezer stays as algid as possible,” said Stack. Aqueous or partially aqueous foods that were in your freezer can be cautiously refrozen if the aliment has not gone aloft 40°F. You may see some changes in the affection of the aliment but it will still be safe to eat. Any aliment that has aqueous and was aloft 40°F for added than two hours should be befuddled out.
Green Chile Hushpuppies by Ryan Scott
Nope, not at all! “The acceptable account about arctic foods is they absorb their comestible amount and may be college in some vitamins than foods like vegetables that were harvested abounding canicule afore you but them and eat them,” said Stack.
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