Freeze and defrost food safely

March 20, 2022

When freezing food, avoid freezing large amounts at a time. It’s better to split it into smaller quantities in separate containers. This also means you can defrost only the quantity you need.

When freezing food you’ve just bought, place it in freezer bags to maintain quality. You don’t need to unwrap pre-packaged raw meat on trays, just put it in a freezer bag. This will help minimise cross contamination in your kitchen. Tie the bag after squeezing out as much air as possible, label and date. If you are freezing cooked food or leftovers, the most important thing is to cool it quickly. Cool food on the bench only until it stops steaming. Then place the hot food directly into the container, cover with a lid and put it in the freezer.

When thawing frozen food thaw poultry, rolled or seasoned (stuffed) meat joints and boned meat joints right through to the centre before cooking. Thaw cooked or ready-to-eat foods in the fridge or microwave – not on the bench-top. Follow thawing and cooking instructions on packaged frozen food as some foods don’t require thawing before cooking.

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