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Can you use chicken that's been in freezer for 2 months

(70 Posts)
Butterfly98 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:12:55

Just that really! I'm having a sort through my freezer drawers today. There are 2 packs of free range chicken breasts which have a use by date of 28 Feb and 'if freezing use within 1 month' on label. It's a Bosch integrated fridge/freezer but it doesn't say on door anywhere how many stars the freezer has and I've googled it too! It's a shame to throw out all of that chicken but surely if it's frozen it should be ok?! Would you defrost it and see how it is and go from there?

divafever99 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:13:55

It will be fine. I have had chicken in my freezer longer than that.

AmayaBuzzbee Fri 26-Apr-19 14:14:44

I would definitely eat them, would not even cross my mind to worry. In fact we ate chicken yesterday which was frozen since 5th February.

DelurkingAJ Fri 26-Apr-19 14:14:50

Defrost. Smell check. Should be fine.

I might not feed it to he sick or very young/old but for healthy people then I would (assuming it passed the smell test above!).

Cloudtree Fri 26-Apr-19 14:14:58

of course. Meat will last for months in the freezer confused

AnyFucker Fri 26-Apr-19 14:15:31

I would

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 26-Apr-19 14:17:38

It'll be fine

Butterfly98 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:18:15

Thanks all, I wonder why all the labels even on steak says to use within one month if freezing? It must be a sales thing! Surely the whole point of having a freezer is to stock up now and then when doing a big grocery shop or when special offers are on!

NoWordForFluffy Fri 26-Apr-19 14:19:13

Two years? Maybe not. Two months? That's no time at all! Go for it; nobody need avoid it, unless your freezer is shit, in which case none of you should eat it!

StealthPolarBear Fri 26-Apr-19 14:19:58

I would without even thinking about it. By the time I get to sixish months I stay to register stuff needs eating up

Namestheyareachangin Fri 26-Apr-19 14:22:02

Is it just me who thinks that putting something in the freezer is the equivalent of stopping time? confused I'll eat anything out if a freezer whatever the date!!

pigsDOfly Fri 26-Apr-19 14:22:35

It's frozen. I suspect the one month advice is the meat seller covering themselves.

If it's been there too long it will begin to look a bit miserable and unattractive, as if it's breaking down.

Frozen meat should last far longer than one month.

DonkeyHohtay Fri 26-Apr-19 14:23:29

Of course you can. Why on earth WOULDN'T you use them? Even the most ardent food hygiene rules say that frozen meat is absolutely fine for at least 3 months.

soulrider Fri 26-Apr-19 14:24:06

I think it may be that quality deteriorates over time, but it's not going to do you any harm.

Butterfly98 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:24:29

Oh and the beef and turkey mince says the same thing about using within the month. Btw do you defrost chicken in microwave or leave out overnight which is what I do as takes too long leaving it in the fridge

ScottishMummy12 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:26:27

I would it will be fine.
My grandfather was a butcher and at the bottom of the freezer he found chicken and beef that had been frozen in 1990 and he ate it confused He was fine although I wouldn't eat meat that was that old.

NoWordForFluffy Fri 26-Apr-19 14:26:53

We leave out for a few hours and then put in the fridge overnight.

Strugglingtodomybest Fri 26-Apr-19 14:27:25

I would, and I prefer to leave stuff out over night. If I forgot, I put it on the heater for a bit. Microwave as a last resort.

MatildaTheCat Fri 26-Apr-19 14:27:47

I would eat it after almost any length of time.

Defrost in the microwave if you want to use it immediately and in the fridge overnight if not.

Also, once cooked you can freeze the dish if you want to.

trendingorange Fri 26-Apr-19 14:27:55

What names said grin

Butterfly98 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:28:54

@ScottishMummy12 omg good to hear your grandad was ok after eating chicken that old!!

dementedpixie Fri 26-Apr-19 14:32:16

The texture and quality might suffer but it won't be unsafe

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 26-Apr-19 14:33:45

I would, and I prefer to leave stuff out over night. If I forgot, I put it on the heater for a bit. Microwave as a last resort

Leave it on the side over night to defrost or microwave it to defrost it but do NOT defrost on a heater, you're lucky you haven't had food poisoning.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 26-Apr-19 14:34:08

It'll be fine OP.

TheTrollFairy Fri 26-Apr-19 14:36:08

I would and do eat stuff that is past it’s use by date if it’s frozen.
I had chicken that was frost bitten/freezer burnt (not sure if either of these things are a thing for frozen chicken). It was fine to eat but the texture was a bit weird.
I do this and I’m on immunosuppressants and nothing has happened to me grin

ShinyMe Fri 26-Apr-19 14:37:32

Yeah, that use by recommendation is just because it could go a bit dry in the freezer after a long time (especially if it's been pumped full of water) but it won't cause illness or anything. Worst case scenario, it might not have as nice a texture as normal.

gamerchick Fri 26-Apr-19 14:38:57

Yeah it's fine definitely. If it's been there too long as pp say it does look a bit sorry for itself and the texture is a bit different but it's still safe to eat.

bloodywhitecat Fri 26-Apr-19 14:39:16

The quality deteriorates over time in a freezer, the product remains safe for a very long time (much, much longer than one month).

TheTitOfTheIceberg Fri 26-Apr-19 14:40:05

Is it just me who thinks that putting something in the freezer is the equivalent of stopping time? confused I'll eat anything out if a freezer whatever the date!!

Not just you, Names. I'm veggie now but even when I ate meat, so long as something is nuked to within an inch of its life once I cook it, I don't stress about how long it has been in the freezer and I'm yet to have food poisoning.

whyohwhyowhydididoit Fri 26-Apr-19 14:43:05

As bloodywhitecat says, the storage times are more about the quality of the food than the safety. And as you have said OP, they will also be about encouraging you to dispose of the food and buy more unnecessarily. It will be perfectly safe to eat and I doubt you will notice any difference in flavour or texture.

SilentSister Fri 26-Apr-19 14:44:26

We rediscovered some prawns in the freezer the other day from last summer. They were pretty tough when defrosted so we didn't finish the bag and the cat was therefore pretty happy. We didn't get ill though. As others have said, frozen meat/fish will basically last forever, but the flesh does start to break down after a while, so the texture goes off. If you are unsure, give it to the cat, he will love you forever grin.

MyCatHatesEverybody Fri 26-Apr-19 14:47:45

Agree with PPs that it's a "best before" issue rather than a safety issue, it'll be fine to eat.

whyohwhyowhydididoit Fri 26-Apr-19 14:48:12

Just a side note, if you keep a small open tub or bowl of water in the freezer, it will greatly reduce freezer burn and so mean the quality of frozen food stays high for longer periods. I use old yogurt/humus pots on every second shelf and change them often. The effect is particularly noticeable on Ice cream which lasts longer without getting covered in ice crystals.

Aquilla Fri 26-Apr-19 14:49:11

Crikey, yes!

Jimjamjong Fri 26-Apr-19 14:50:07

yes fine, if it has been frozen close to the use by date or bought already frozen it's better to cook directly from frozen.

bloodywhitecat Fri 26-Apr-19 14:52:25

@whyohwhyowhydididoit Can I ask what the science is behind that? I am fascinated by how it works (off to find pots of water for the freezer)

Butterfly98 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:53:41

That's interesting @whyohwhyowhydididoit about the tub of water. I will try that as the ice cream sometimes has ice crystals on top though it usually is eaten very quickly unless it's an unpopular flavour!

Gilbert1A Fri 26-Apr-19 14:58:02

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Lifecraft Fri 26-Apr-19 14:59:59

Christ, I've got chicken in my freezer that's priced up in old money!!!

InspectorClouseauMNdivision Fri 26-Apr-19 15:00:28

I cooked beef from Dec 2017 just last week. 😂
Kind of lost it in a back and didn't want to waste it

Hecateh Fri 26-Apr-19 15:02:12

Once it is frozen it will remain 'safe' pretty well indefinitely BUT the flavour and or texture will change over time.
So long as the meat was put in the freezer fresh without being allowed to get warm between shop and freezer or be contaminated in anyway it will to eat for months

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Fri 26-Apr-19 15:04:57

Came across stuff in mine the other day- July 28th, Jan 19th and so on. Only problem is I don’t know what year.....

BarbaraofSevillle Fri 26-Apr-19 15:07:26

Is it just me who thinks that putting something in the freezer is the equivalent of stopping time

It is. I think they've found stuff dropped by early polar explorers that's been there for decades that's safe to eat.

I wonder why all the labels even on steak says to use within one month if freezing

Because they want you to throw it away and buy more. Don't fall for it.

Butterfly98 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:08:04

@InspectorClouseauMNdivision ya I hate wasting food, I think I over shop sometimes so will try to start being more organised and use things in date order from freezer (note to self is I must start putting new food at bottom of freezer and rotate the older stuff to top), the funny thing is I give out about our local Tesco which often has the new fresh meat at the front on shelf and older stuff at the back, same in the bread aisle!!

ValleyoftheHorses Fri 26-Apr-19 15:08:25

I never worry about how long something has been frozen as long as my freezer is working. Never had a problem with this.

GiantKitten Fri 26-Apr-19 15:13:18

It's not about food hygiene as such, more about quality. Meat will gradually dry out & lose flavour - happens quicker if it was only frozen in its shop packaging, rather than double wrapped in freezer bags.

So it'll be perfectly safe, just not as nice as fresh.

Boysey45 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:14:16

I've a friend who is a buyer for one of the main supermarkets and hes told me that a lot of the frozen food has been in freezers for years before you buy it. Its put me right off anything frozen and I wont eat food from Iceland full stop.

YoungyMummyLovesFunny Fri 26-Apr-19 15:16:42

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greenpop21 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:17:57

Of course you can. I 've had meat that's been in there way longer!

omione Fri 26-Apr-19 15:23:40

Why would it enter your head to be worried about it ? It will still be fine in 6 months time

Cloudtree Fri 26-Apr-19 15:29:20

silly hubbies!!! lots of love mummys.. kissy kissy kisses xoxoxoxoxo

WFT. I'm all for preventing climate change but that's enough to put you off becoming vegan.

whyohwhyowhydididoit Fri 26-Apr-19 15:41:15

For people asking for the science behind using a tub of water in the freezer, here’s a link to a Wikipedia page explaining it.

Bitchinwitch Fri 26-Apr-19 17:58:48

Haha dear God, well to put it in to perspective I cooked and ate some salmon the other day that was dated 2016 in my freezer and lived to tell the tale! :S

Constance1234 Fri 26-Apr-19 18:04:34

I had no idea some people thought frozen food had such a short shelf life - I read once that someone cooked and ate a steak from a woolly mammoth that had been frozen for hundreds of thousands of years!!

stucknoue Fri 26-Apr-19 18:09:23

Yes, ate some December chicken yesterday

InspectorClouseauMNdivision Fri 26-Apr-19 19:05:11

It's like with preserves. Mum used to make homemade ones and it was a common occurence that a jam I was eating was done and labled 6 years before that.

All the dates are really justabout quality so people don't come after the shop that the chicken they bought 4 years ago is not nice😂

greenpop21 Sat 27-Apr-19 13:34:38

People are weird about frozen things. My MIL looks down her nose at frozen veg despite it being proven over and over again that it is highly nutritious as it's frozen when picked/cut. Then again, she's no Delia!

motheroftwoboys Sat 27-Apr-19 13:37:56

Absolutely, of course. I am useless at labelling and have no idea how old things are in my freezer. Sometimes have no idea what things actually are! Just make sure everything is defrosted properly.

Gth1234 Sat 27-Apr-19 15:50:38

What a question. Food doesn't go off in a freezer. It might just lose a bit of texture. 2 months is nothing.

Butterfly98 Sun 28-Apr-19 13:33:02

We made some really nice healthy chicken skewers / kebabs for dinner yesterday evening with red onions, green, yellow and red peppers served with salad and warm pittas. The verdict from everyone was yummy (no food poisoning yay 🤣🤣) so I can safely say I will be using up the rest of the freezer stuff before stocking up again!!

SherlockHolmes Sun 28-Apr-19 13:36:39

We regularly eat things that have been frozen for over a year. Sometimes the texture and flavour has deteriorated by then, which is why manufacturers suggest eating it quickly (as well as encouraging us to throw it away and buy more obvs 😡)

Lllot5 Sun 28-Apr-19 13:39:54

It’ll be fine but it should be defrosted overnight in the fridge though. On the bottom shelf in case of drips.

bigbluebus Sun 28-Apr-19 14:05:44

I cooked with 'use by August' chicken out if the freezer on Friday and we're all still fine. I don't know why supermarkets say use within 1 month of freezing - on my freezer it says ice cream keeps for 3 months and chicken for 12 months.

I buy 'fresh' fish from the supermarket which says it can be frozen - so I freeze it and it's fine. The bit I don't understand is that it also says on the packet that it has previously been frozen (although it is not frozen when I buy it). How is that ok when it goes against all the guidance we normally get about food handling - ie do not refreeze something that has been defrosted?

BarbaraofSevillle Sun 28-Apr-19 14:11:11

It's probably because it's been frozen in more controlled conditions than might be the case at home blue.

But then again, I defrost and refreeze sometimes if I change my mind and I know it's not been defrosted long and stayed cool and have never had any issues.

CurtainsOpen Sun 28-Apr-19 14:13:58

Depends if it was alive or not when you put it in there

mastertomsmum Sun 28-Apr-19 14:18:04

The whole use within one month thing is all part of the sell buy dates mythology. Veg have sell by dates and sometimes use by dates, it’s alk nonsense.

If something frozen is one the way out, it will look and smell as if it is. More than a year before that’s likely a possibility

WhataLovelyPear Sun 28-Apr-19 14:25:17

A quick way of safely defrosting meat is to immerse it in a bowl of water (still in its packaging). Bagged food works best this way as those plastic tray thingies are a bit thick but the water does a much better job of defrosting than air does, and it stays cold for ages so you're only defrosting, not warming it to danger levels.

Oblomov19 Sun 28-Apr-19 14:37:20

Really? I'm surprised you are asking. Of course it lasts for ages frozen.

PregnantSea Sun 28-Apr-19 14:56:55

I'd eat meat that had been frozen for 6 months as long as it smelled ok when it defrosted. Maybe longer. Not been ill from it yet

Indie139 Mon 29-Apr-19 19:15:03

I always thought it was fine upto 6 months

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