What Is the Ideal Temperature to Keep Meat & Vegetables Frozen At?

Written by kristen kelly
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What Is the Ideal Temperature to Keep Meat & Vegetables Frozen At?
Blanch vegetables before freezing. (vegetables image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

Freezing meats and vegetables is an effective way to store foods safely for longer periods of time than in a refrigerator. To freeze foods properly, you need to handle and store them properly to maintain quality and safety.

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Ideal Freezing Temperature

According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, -17.8 degrees C (--7.78 degrees C C) or lower is the best temperature for frozen food. Food kept at this temperature should be safe for a very long time, though the quality may suffer if it is left in the freezer too long.

Refrigerator Freezers

Refrigerator freezers may be best for foods you intend to eat quickly, as they are not always able to reliably keep a temperature of -17.8 degrees C (--7.78 degrees C C) or lower.

Freezing Meat

Meat requires airtight wrapping and quick freezing. According to FoodSafety.gov, at temperatures of -17.8 degrees C or lower, hot dogs, lunch meat, and sausages will maintain their quality for 1 to 2 months. Bacon will be good for 1 month, ground meat for 3 to 4 months, steaks for 6 to 12 months, chops for 4 to 6 months, and roasts for 4 to 12 months. A whole chicken or turkey will last 12 months, while chicken or turkey pieces will last 9 months.

Freezing Vegetables

Vegetables should be blanched (partially cooked) before freezing. Freeze vegetables quickly at -17.8 degrees C or lower so they taste good and retain most of their nutrients. Vegetables will maintain their quality for about 12 months in the freezer.

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