The best tasting frozen foods are the ones that have been handled and stored properly from the field to your fork. Frozen foods can sometimes travel long distances from where they were prepared to your grocer’s freezer. Along the way, they have been transported by refrigerated trucks and rail cars that use high-tech equipment and strict monitoring to ensure perfectly maintained frozen cargo.
When you purchase frozen foods, it is important that you transport them as quickly as possible from the store to your home freezer. Like refrigerated trucks, it can be helpful if you keep a cooler or insulated bag in your car to ensure frozen products don’t thaw on the ride home. This can be especially helpful during warm summer months.
Your home freezer should be set to 0°F (-18°C) to ensure the safety and quality of frozen foods. Products that have been thawed and refrozen can form unwanted frost or ice crystals and may be at risk of bacterial growth. And while frozen foods will be safe to eat indefinitely when stored at 0°F, it’s best to consume them before the expiration or “use by” date on the package, as minor fluctuations in your freezer’s temperature can cause a decrease in product quality over time.
If you lose electricity in your home, keep your freezer door closed as much as possible. A full freezer will keep an adequate temperature for about 48 hours if the door remains closed.