Freezing foods to preserve them has been going on forever. Even cavemen put things in the snow to preserve them. When Charles Birdseye introduced frozen foods to America in the 1930s, it started a trend and a way of life that has never lost popularity.
The problem with freezing things is that too many people don’t understand how long different items can stay frozen or what happens to the textures of food. If it has a sell-by date on the item, people sort of know when they put it in the freezer and some are even good about marking when it went in. The problem is how long it will stay good. In general terms, fruits can retain good quality for 12 months, vegetables for 8 to 12 months, beef for 8 to 12 months, and poultry 6 to 12 months. Of course, that’s knowing that your setting is at zero degrees or below. Some things just don’t last as long, like bacon. It will only last three months and cakes and cookies are only good for 4 months.
If you are freezing food that was prepared at home, then label and date it. Some people wisely have a written log near the freezer with a list of what went in and when. They say it helps them plan meals more easily. Others will rotate items in the freezer so the things that need to be used first are nearer the front and more easily accessible. Things that have been in the freezer longer than they should are often still eatable but the texture and quality of them will be different. Fruits form ice crystals and things that weren’t properly wrapped get freezer burn.
Freezers are great storage devices – if used right.