12 Things in Your Freezer You Should Throw Out Now (PHOTOS)

12 Things in Your Freezer You Should Throw Out Now (PHOTOS)


Say ... how long have those chicken drumsticks been in your freezer? And that pizza? And the peas? It's easy to throw things into the freezer thinking they'll last forever. That's kind of the whole point. But my frozen fairy tale bubble has been burst: I've just found out how long foods really are supposed to keep in there.

Guess what I'll be doing when I get home from work today.

Yes, I'm afraid I have some cleaning out the freezer ahead of me. Can't wait! Ugh. Maybe you'd like a refresher too? Here's how long different foods really last in the freezer (at 0 degrees or below) without damaging the quality, according to FoodSafety.gov. Just note that technically, food will stay frozen and safe indefinitely. You just may not want to eat it once it thaws!

freeze or toss?

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Image © iStock/hutchyb, ©iStock.com/eskaylim

  • Poultry


    © iStock/nanka-stalker

    This depends on parts or whole. Uncooked chicken or turkey pieces will last 9 months in the freezer. A whole bird will last about a year. Cooked poultry will last 2 to 6 months.

  • Red Meat and Pork


    © iStock/Mehmet Hilmi Barcin

    Uncooked red meat or pork steaks will last 6 to 12 months, chops 4 to 6 months, and roasts 4 to 12 months, depending on the size and how cold your freezer is. You can freeze uncooked hamburger and other ground meat for 3 to 4 months. Cooked red meat and pork can freeze for 2 to 6 months.

  • Bacon & Sausage


    © iStock/Ockra

    You can keep bacon in the freezer for about a month. Sausage can last a couple months.

  • Ham & Cooked Lunch Meats


    © iStock/milanfoto

    Cooked ham, deli meats, and hot dogs can be frozen for a month or two.

  • Fruit


    © iStock/anna1311

    You can freeze your summer berries now and they'll still be good 6 months to a year from now.

  • Vegetables


    © iStock/sanapadh

  • Fish


    © iStock/julichka

    Fatty fish, like bluefish or salmon, will freeze well for 2 to 3 months. Lean fish will last longer, about 6 months. And uncooked shellfish is good in the freezer for about 3 to 6 months.


  • Baked Goods


    © iStock/clubfoto

    You can freeze cake and bread for 3 months (you can freeze cake longer with the right precautions, but the quality will be compromised). Unbaked pie will last 8 months, and cookies (baked or dough) are good for 3 months.


  • Soups, Stews & Casseroles


    © iStock/georgejurasek

    Cooked meat casseroles are still good after 3 months, as are soups and stews.

  • Chicken Nuggets & Pizza


    © iStock/shuchunke

    You can keep boxes of chicken nuggets or pizza for a couple of months.


  • Dairy


    © iStock/DNY59

    You can freeze milk! But it will separate. You can also freeze butter for 6 to 9 months. And ice cream and sorbet will last a couple of months. Oh, who are we kidding? I'm lucky if ice cream lasts more than 24 hours in my house. Cheese doesn't generally freeze well, unless it's highly processed block cheese.

  • Eggs


    © iStock/intraprese

    To freeze whole eggs, crack open and beat the yolks and whites together before freezing. Separated egg whites freeze for a year. Separated yolks do not freeze well, nor do egg substitutes, custards, and eggnog.


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