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  • November 16th, 2021

    The operating temperature of a commercial freezer is typically about -10 degrees Fahrenheit with a holding temperature that will range between -10 and zero degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers hold foods within this temperature range because bacteria and mold stop growing when frozen to zero degrees however, once thawed, these same bacteria and molds can become reactivated. For this reason, you can see that having your frozen foods maintained at proper or safe temperatures is critically important to the safety of your customers. Holding foods at proper temperature also has a direct effect on the length of time that you can keep foods frozen. While food stored at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit should last indefinitely, the quality of most foods will decline the longer that it is stored in a freezer. In a commercial environment, it is best to limit the length of time that you store frozen food and to maintain accurate records as to the amount of time a product has been kept frozen so that you don’t hold it so long that it wouldn’t be a good decision to serve to customers. We recommend using food labels to track the amount of time food is stored in a reach-in freezer, undercounter freezer or walk-in freezer.

    Different types of foods can be stored for different time periods. Meat is frozen to extend the life of the product. But how long is too long to store frozen meat and poultry? The type of meat seldom affects the storage time, but there are some exceptions. Additionally, storage time correlates to the size of the amount of meat being stored. Larger cuts of meats can be stored in commercial freezers for longer periods of time and smaller cuts of frozen meat can be stored for shorter periods of time before there will be a decline in the quality of the product.

    Below is a list of how long you can store meat and poultry without significant degradation to frozen products.

    Fresh Meat and Poultry:

    Steaks, six to twelve months

    Chops and Roasts, four to twelve months

    Whole Chicken and Turkey, twelve months

    Chicken and Turkey Parts, nine months

    Ground Beef, three to four months

    Ground Chicken, three to four months

    Cooked Meat and Poultry:

    Cooked Meat, three to four months

    Cooked Poultry, four to six months

    Fried Chicken, four months

    Chicken Nuggets or Chicken Patties, one to three months

    Gravy, two to three months

    how long can you keep meat frozen

    Keywords: training, health and safety