Is it okay to eat food with freezer burn?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “is it okay to eat food with freezer burn?”. We will also discuss the ways to prevent freezer burn.

Is it okay to eat food with freezer burn?

Yes, it is okay to eat food with freezer burn. Freezer burn does not mean the food has gone rancid, it is just that the texture and the taste would not be the same as they would when fresh.

Freezer burn is harmless and does not pose any risk to the health of the one consuming the food. Freezer burn is more of a quality issue than a safety issue.

One should be mindful, that though the freezer burnt food is safe to consume after proper thawing and cooking, checking the food before cooking is important to know if they have gone rancid.

What is a freezer burn?

Freezer burn is a phenomenon in which the frozen food loses moisture to make the food dry and discoloured. The surface of the food is covered in ice crystals formed by the sublimation of water particles in the food.

The food is damaged by dehydration and oxidation due to air reaching the food. The quality of the food changes with the change in texture and taste. Food with freezer burn tends to lose nutrient value and flavour due to the crystallisation of the water content of the food.

How to prevent freezer burn?

It is next to impossible to avoid the freezer burn but can lessen the chances of it affecting the food stored in the freezer. Here, we discuss the things to consider to avoid freezer burns.

Wrap correctly

It is advised when storing food in the fridge, wrapping with plastic wrap and re-wrapping with aluminium foil is a must. This will definitely prevent the food from drying out as no cold and dry air can get in touch with the food.

Use freezer-safe container

A good freezer-safe container needs to be used to store food in the freezer as they are made up of thick glass or plastic that can withstand the extreme cold of the freezer.

The container needs to be air-tight so that no outside air can enter to cause freezer burn. The use of normal plastic containers to store the food can cause the food to get freezer burn sooner as the thin plastic material cannot take on the harsh condition.

Squeeze out air

The idea is to not have any air inside the container or the wrapped up food. Squeezing out as much air or trying to have zero air inside is a must to prolong the lifespan of the frozen food without getting freezer burn.

The use of a vacuum sealer to create a vacuum in the freezer bags or the containers is a handy tip to avoid getting freezer burns in frozen foods.

Let hot foods cool first

It is normal to freeze cooked meals too but keeping in mind to let them cool first completely is a must. If the hot foods are not let to cool properly, the steam from the food will add moisture to the air inside the containers and when frozen will get freezer burn rather quickly.

When cooling the cooked meals, one should be mindful not to cool them leaving them on the kitchen counter as the cooked meals need to be quickly cooled down as the warmer temperatures could help the bacterias and pathogens grow which can cause stomach ailments.

When freezing big batches, it is a must to store them in smaller containers or wrap them into smaller portions so it would be hassle-free thawing and heating. Since thawing and refreezing would destroy the food’s texture and quality and would not be the nicest meal to eat.

Labelling is a must

It is always a good thing to practise labelling food items before storing them in the freezer as you would get an idea of the lifespan of the frozen foods. Since different food has different shelf life in the freezer, it is a smart way of keeping on top of freezing foods.

The simple rule of thumb of what goes in first comes out first will save you from wasting food due to freezer burn.

How to determine if the food is freezer burned?

The food with freezer burn can be distinguished visually as the colour, texture, and ice crystals all around the outside is not a normal view of frozen foods.

The food including meat, poultry, vegetables and fruits, and cooked meals will all develop a layer of ice crystals around them if they are freezer burnt. The improper storing of the food results in freezer burn.

The food with freezer burn is normally dry and tougher than the fresh food as the water content of the food would have diminished due to a process called sublimation where the water content transforms into solid and into gas and mixes with the air.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “is it okay to eat food with freezer burn?”. We also discussed the ways to prevent freezer burn.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

References

https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-to-know-freezer-burn-meat#:~:text=Freezer%20burn%20is%20a%20term,that%20their%20texture%20appears%20tough.

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