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Food Handling General Discussion General and open discussion for food handling and safety.


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Old 08-18-2019, 12:56 PM   #1
BBQCookin
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Default How Long Can Protein Stay Frozen

Going through my freezer, i found:
1. section of tenderloin I placed in a ziplock bag. Been there since Nov. 2018. There's some "snow" on it.
2. Whole chicken, never opened, went right to freezer. Date is Sept. 2017.
3. Smithfield ribs, never opened, right to freezer. August 2016.

Is any of this usable or is it all tonight's garbage? Thanks!
-MCS
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
ynotfehc
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Tenderloin would be a great dinner tonight or tomorrow. The chicken may be ok, would have to defrost and see how the meat looks. Ribs are probably freezer burnt. It's more the quality of the meat rather than going bad. After so long the meat will just be dried out and freezer burnt.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:56 PM   #3
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This is one of those "opinion" questions for sure. Some folks will have very strong, heartfelt "opinions". Like most topics where opinions abound, YMMV and those opinions may not line up with food science or reality.


There are lots of brethren here who operate foodtrucks or BBQ joints and they know what the food inspectors will allow and where the liability starts to grow. I will wager if those dudes chime in, the time frames you will see for how long meat is OK in the freezer will get a lot shorter than you'd expect.


I've had meat in the freezer for well over a year and used it just fine. But something tells me for a public opinion and food safety, I'll wager the period is much less than that.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:47 AM   #4
poorolddan
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Only real way to know is thaw it and smell it. If foul dump otherwise feed you in laws
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:15 AM   #5
thirdeye
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In theory, frozen food will keep indefinitely, never go bad or pose any health issues.... but it can and will loose flavor or get freezer burned and get dry. Good packaging can really help, vacuum sealing is the best followed by plastic inner-wrap and freezer paper outer-wrap. A dedicated freezer will usually be colder than the freezer in your refrigerator, so that helps too.

A friend of mine found two packages of vacuum sealed elk steaks in the bottom of his chest freezer that was 9 years old. He slow thawed them in the fridge and everything appeared to be fine, but to play it safe he made jerky out of them. It was just great and I joked that the elk had been in the freezer twice as long as it was on the hoof.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:10 PM   #6
BBQCookin
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I cooked up the tenderloins last night and they were pretty good, not great. I think I'm going to defrost and cut up the chicken, gauge appearance and smell, and go from there. The ribs look good in the sealed packaging: I might cut out one, smoke it and see how that goes. Then either cook or toss the other ones.

Meanwhile, I'm going to encourage my wife to look inside the freezer more often!
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:57 PM   #7
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Smell won't be the issue, and it will smell fine. It is a quality issue, dried out meat wont have a particular smell. It will be safe to eat, its whether you will enjoy it or not.
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