Q. Amelia..freezing food is a great way to cut down on food wastage and also very convenient…what groceries can we safely freeze?
+ Raw meat, cooked meat, most fresh vegetables, bread, some seafood freezes better than others, milk but not all dairy pastry
+ Eggs, but out of the shell
+ Butter and margarine freeze really well.
+ Milk can be frozen, but it will lose it’s fresh taste. Best to use it just for cooking
+ Alkaline batteries last longer when frozen
Q. There are obviously some foods that shouldn’t be frozen, what’s on the no go list?
+ Raw eggs in the shell
+ Veggies with a high water content like cucumber and lettuce
+ Soft herbs get burnt by the ice and turn brown
+ Some egg based sauces like mayo will separate and curdle
+ Cottage cheese and yoghurt goes watery
+ Salmon good, but whitefish you can’t
+ Anything deep-fried crumbed things will go soggy
Q. Some items will also freeze better than others….how can we tell when it’s time to throw something out?
+ Write the date and what the food is on the packet with a pen.
+ Freeze in correct portion sizes so you can use as you go
+ Never defrost, reheat and defrost again
+ Beef 2-3 months
+ Chicken 4 months
+ Breads and cakes 3 months
+ meat soups and stews 3 months
+ Raw food freezes for longer
+ chicken 9 months
+ ground meat mince – 4 months
+ sausages 2 months
+ beef around 6 months
+ Vegetables up to a year
Q. And if we do keep something longer than we should- what’s the worst thing that can happen.. How sick could we get?
+ It depends on the type of bacteria and sensitive your stomach is
+ If you’re unsure, cook it for longer and at a higher temperature
+ If in doubt, throw it out
+ Make sure your freezer is at -15 degrees
+ It’s also important to make sure you’re freezing the food properly
+ Make sure to cool cooked food before storing
+ Putting hot food in the freezer effectively defrosts it, making the rest of the food unsafe too
For more information about food safetky when it comes to freezing, visit: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/Bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/food_safety_storage?open