Frost occurring on your frozen food, also known as freezer burn, happens when food does not freeze properly or the temperature of the freezer does not maintain a proper level. The frost occurs when one side of the frozen food has a colder temperature than the rest of the container. All of the frozen water particles relocate to one section of the food and form extra frost. While you can eat foods with frost, it may negatively impact the taste and texture of the food.
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Keep the freezer at a constant temperature below 0 F. Frost can generally only form on freezer foods if the temperature periodically rises above this point.
Seal all food placed in the freezer in airtight containers. Extra air in the containers makes the food more sensitive to temperature changes and allows room for frost to form. Use plastic bags or wrapping specifically designed to protect food in the freezer.
Consume food stored in the freezer within the recommended amount of time. The longer you keep food in the freezer, the more likely it is that the food will develop frost. Uncooked meat will generally last up to 12 months in the freezer, while frozen meals can last three to four months. Consult the USDA's Freezing and Food Safety fact sheet for specific details for the food in your freezer.
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