I'm having a clear out of my freezer and trying to eat what we can. Some of the meat was put there over a year ago and I'm wondering whether it's safe to eat. I'm not too worried about quality, I'm more worried about food poisoning! If anyone has any idea on maximum length of time you can safely freeze meat (and quorn sausages) for your advice would be much appreciated!
I think the ofical recommendation is about 3 months but that seems ridiculous to me as long as it's not freezer burnt and looks the same after its defrosted as it did before it was frozen I use it , I haven't killed anyone so far
Recommended maximum freezing period for optimum condition:
3 months for fish, charcuterie, cooked dishes and bread 6 months for pork, rabbit and dairy 9 months beef, chicken and vegetables 12 months lamb, game and fruit.
Even if frozen for a lot longer than the recommended period food poisoning not an issue if defrosted and cooked correctly but texture and flavour will be affected. Ideally should defrost slowly in fridge overnight,although if in a hurry and only if it's going to be cooked as soon as it defrosts you can defrost on kitchen bench, on a rack over a dish, covered with a teatowel and away from any heat source. Once defrosted food should be at room temperature for as little as possible as once it reaches room temperature is when bacteria start to develop, hence defrosting in fridge is ideal method. Vegetables work better if cooked from frozen. In any case all food which has been frozen should be cooked as soon as possible after defrosting.
Very important to wrap well in suitable materials extracting as much air as possible to avoid freezer burn Foodstuff which has been vacuum sealed can be frozen for much longer periods