13:13 05 July 2016
In a recent survey conducted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), almost half of the respondents are not aware that food can be safely frozen at any time up to its “use by” date. Of the 1,500 people surveyed, 43per cent thought that food can only be frozen on the day it was bought while 38per cent said that food could become unsafe to eat in the freezer.
FSA said that although the texture or taste of the food can deteriorate over time due to ice crystal damage, frozen food will keep indefinitely. It added that once defrosted, food will spoil in the same way as if it were fresh.
"The freezer is like a pause button, so you can freeze foods right up to the 'use by' date," FSA policy director Mr Wearne said.
"While food is kept safe in the freezer, it's the quality that deteriorates over time, so we recommend eating it within three to six months and checking for any freezing instructions on the packaging."
"Once defrosted, the pause button is off, so defrost food as and when you need it and eat it within 24 hours of it being fully defrosted."