Freezing food can be a great way to make your food last a little longer – especially when you can’t get to the shops. Despite what many think, freezing doesn’t necessarily kill the nutrients in food plus it’s a great way to store food without using chemical preservatives. Freezing food is also a great way to avoid food waste.
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Lots of you have been asking us questions about freezing food – here’s some quick answers to keep you on track.
Q. How can I safely freeze food?
Most food can be safely frozen, just follow some basic safety tips:
- Don’t freeze something right before it’s due to go off - as the process of freezing food doesn’t eliminate all bacteria. Instead, freeze items when they are fresh.
- Cool down food before you freeze it - otherwise the heat could cause other food in the freezer to begin defrosting
- Remember - the fuller your freezer is, the more economical it is to run
- You should only refreeze food if you're cooking it in between, e.g. if you thaw mince to make bolognese you can re-freeze it after cooking it
- Make sure to wrap your food properly or put in sealed containers
- Throw out anything you might think have gone off - freezing doesn't kill bacteria
- Label your food so you don't forget what it is - it's also helpful to add a date so you know when you put it in
- If ice builds up, make sure to defrost your freezer - the contents will usually be fine in the fridge while you do this.
Q. WhatFoods should I NOT freeze?
- Dishes with crumb toppings (as they will go soggy)
- Sour cream or any other cream-based products
- Salad greens
- Raw fruits and veg (as the texture may go soggy when defrosted)
- Potatoes (these will also go mushy when defrosted)
- Cans of food
- Mayonnaise, as it'll separate
Q. What foods can I freeze?
- Bread - entire loaf, slices or in breadcrumbs
- Grated cheese
- Cooked pasta (slightly under-cooked pasta will help avoid a soggy texture when it’s defrosting)
- Flour (and you can use this directly from the freezer)
- Grated cheese
- Peeled bananas
- Eggs, if cracked into containers
- Meat, raw or cooked
- Soup, casserole and most other cooked leftovers - but double check online if you are unsure
- Milk - though as it will expand, you mustn't store it in a glass bottle.