Freezing guidelines, Freezer burn, Color changes – Maytag Upright Freezers User Manual
Page 10: Freezing facts, Defrosting foods
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 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
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
• As a general guideline, food 2" thick
should freeze completely in about
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
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.