Freezing guidelines, Freezer burn, Color changes – Maytag Upright Freezers User Manual

Page 10: Freezing facts, Defrosting foods

background image


Freezing guidelines

Freezer burn?

Freezer burn occurs when air reaches the

surface of the food.The cold, dry air in the

freezer causes the foodstuff to dry out in

spots and lose quality. While freezer burn

may not taste good, it does not make the

food unsafe. Freezer burned portions

should be cut away either before or after

cooking the food.

Color changes

Color changes can occur in frozen foods.

This can cause ground beef to go from a

bright, red to a darker, duller brown due

to lack of oxygen. Freezing normally

doesn’t cause color changes in poultry,

but it will cause changes to the color near

the bones resulting in ‘bone darkening’.

These changes are only visual changes

and do not indicate poor quality or unsafe


freezing facts

Maytag provides this information as a

guide to aid in food preservation. For spe-

cific questions regarding food handling,

cooking, or storage contact USDA Meat

and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.
• You can freeze almost any food, the

main exceptions being eggs still in the

shell and cans of foods.

• Frozen food kept at 0° F (-18° C) or

slightly below will always be safe. Only

the quality of food suffers over time.

• It is safe to freeze meat or poultry

directly in supermarket wrapping. This

wrapping is air permeable which allows

freezer burn, so the meat should be

used within one to two months.

• Freeze foods as quickly as possible.

This prevents large ice crystals from

forming which decreases food quality.

• Never stack packages to be frozen. Lay

packages out in a single layer and then

stack them after they are frozen.

• During a power outage, a full freezer

will normally keep 2 days, a half full

freezer about 1 day. Food should be

stacked tightly to provide a nest of cold

air–resisting thawing.

• As a general guideline, food 2" thick

should freeze completely in about

2 hours.

Defrosting foods

There are basic methods to defrost food

safely. Food should never be defrosted at

room temperature. This allows unsafe

bacteria to grow while the food is thawing.

To defrost safely use:
Refrigerator: this allows the food to

thaw in an environment that controls

bacterial growth.
Most foods require a day or two to

defrost, approximately one day for

each 5 lbs. of weight.

Cold water: place food in a leakproof

bag and immerse it in cold water (If bag

leaks, food will become contaminated

by bacteria). Check water frequently to

verify it stays cold. Change water every

thirty minutes. After thawing, refrigerate

the food until it is ready to use.

Microwave: cook food immediately

after using a microwave to defrost food.

Microwave defrosting warms food and

can partially cook it, allowing bacteria

to grow as it defrosts. Food cannot be

refrozen until it is cooked.