How long in the freezer?

You should label your food with the date because freezing is only a temporary means of preserving food, not a permanent one.

Freezing works as a method of food preservation because it severely retards the spoiling activities of micro-organisms, but it does not eliminate it entirely. As rule of thumb, you can keep vegetables and fruits in the freezer for 8–12 months, whole pieces of meat for 6–9 months, ground meat for 3–4 months, and fish for 3–4 months.

Fatty meats (such as bacon) have the shortest freezer shelf-life (up to 2 months), because fats tend to become rancid under freezing conditions.

After several months, the food will exceed its shelf life and become hazardous.

These guidelines only apply if the food is kept consistently at a temperature of –18ºC (0ºF) or lower (which is the standard temperature for conventional, Four-Star rated freezers); it will last less long if the temperature fluctuates because the freezer door is opened too frequently, or if too much unfrozen food is added to the freezer in one go, causing the freezer temperature to rise.

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