Freezer with packed vegetables.

Did you cook more food than you needed for your family dinner? Sometimes freezing your leftovers is a better option than just throwing them  away. Check out our guide with tips on foods that are best to freeze and ones you should toss. We’ll also share how long your food should be stored in the freezer before it should be removed.

 Basic Tips to Follow

  • Chill cooked leftovers and takeout foods within two hours. Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below, and use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature.
  • It’s best to freeze foods as soon as you buy them. You keep the highest quality and nutrients when you freeze your food right away.
  • Freeze foods into the portion size you will use them for easy reheating.
  • When freezing store-bought packages of fresh meat, leave in original packaging.
  • Label your sealed foods with the name and date so you don’t forget when you placed them in the freezer.
  • Don’t defrost food at room temperature. There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. You should immediately cook food after being thawed in cold water or the microwave.

 Foods You Can Freeze

  • Meats
  • Bread
  • Cooked vegetables

Foods to Avoid Freezing

  • Raw and cooked eggs
  • Salad greens
  • Fried food
  • Canned food
  • Egg, chicken, ham, tuna and macaroni salads

 How Long Should I Store Food in My Freezer and Refrigerator?

Storage times vary depending on the food. Fresh chicken can stay in the freezer for up to a year, but pork chops should only be stored in the freezer for up to six months. For more information about food storage times for the freezer and refrigerator, check out the Food Safety guide. Remember – you cannot tell just by smelling or looking at the food.

For additional information on storing food in your freezer and refridgerator, check out the FDA’s guide. Share your tips with us in the comments below!


Caroline A.

Written by

Caroline started with Publix as a cashier in 2015 and has developed a passion for writing and social media. She loves being a part of Publix’s culture and enjoys bringing new ideas to The Publix Checkout by writing about topics customers might not know about the company. Pub Subs and Publix Sweet Tea are her favorites, and you’ll always find her with an iced coffee in hand. Outside of work, Caroline enjoys traveling, watching college football and playing with her fur child.

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