With everyone stocking their freezers during the pandemic, it’s likely whatever ends up at the bottom or back of your freezer will develop freezer burn. You know, that look, a frosty layer and a bit of discoloration.
Is such food still edible? Mostly yes but sometimes no, according to a recent piece on CookingLight.,com.
” USDA officials say that any meat affected by freezer burn is safe to eat. While your steak may taste a little ‘off,’ you won’t actually be at any greater risk for foodborne illness,” the article states.
But don’t let freezer burned meats defrost on a counter and check the packaging.
“You should never leave freezer-burned meat out on a counter for an extended period of time. Bacteria can grow rapidly, thanks to the melting ice that has formed on the exterior of the meat (rather than on the interior, which can preserve the meat for longer periods of time).
“You should also check your meat’s packaging—has it become torn or ripped in any way? Freezer burn is safe if the meat hasn’t been exposed to the interior of your freezer directly—if the plastic or wax paper has torn, it’s no longer safe to eat,” the article notes.
I try to rotate things in my freezer to prevent freezer burn. I also have several months of the year when we stop buying new items to put in the freezer until we’ve largely cleaned out and/or eaten everything already in there. That can make for some creative meal combinations and it’s a good way to avoid wasting food because of severe freezer burn.