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Food Safety Q

toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
edited 12:42PM in EggHead Forum
I have some baby back ribs in the freezer that were "sell by Feb 9." I froze them on the 9th and wondering what sort of shelf life they've got in my freezer.

Can I still use them? When should I toss 'em??

For what it's worth, they're on a foam tray wrapped in plastic, so not stored in any brine or water.



  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    The worst thing that can happen is an off taste due to freezer burn. They should be fine. -RP
  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
    Good to know. Thanks for the prompt response.
  • As long as the meat is “good”…Once in the freezer you’re good to go ;) .
    My rule of thumb is that beef will hold up for at least a year and pork for six months with out any off taste or burn.
    To help with the burn issue…The food saver thing works well because of the “No Air and Sealed concept.
  • correctly frozen, they will last forever. forever. that's not opinion, that's the USDA.

    quality may diminish over time (think freezer burn), but there is no food-safety issue with properly frozen food.
  • Sooner EggSooner Egg Posts: 578
    You "should" be okay provided the meat was still good when it was frozen but really one never knows until its thawed....I know its hard to believe but meat can go bad before the "sold by" date, there are too many factors that can create bad products that do not make it to the sold date, poor handling, poor storage, improper temps...blah blah blah
  • I have had both pork and chicken go bad before the sell by date. I returned these to the store for an exchange.

    Frozen meat will be edible for a long time. However, as others have said, the quality will diminish due to burn. You can minimize burn by vaccum sealing.

    If your ribs are on a foam tray, you may want to use them sooner rather than later becasue the foam trays have a lot of air trapped inside and the plastic wrap is really thin. Thaw them in the fridge, open them up, and see how they look and smell.

    Good luck.
  • I will “stock up” on chicken and pork when I find a good sale and get it in the freezer.
    As Dave mentioned about the tray….
    I always unpackage, removing the tray, absorbent stuff and then repackage. Sometimes in a freezer bag and then coated freezer paper, other times just the freezer paper.
    No matter, being in a bag or not, I always make sure I have at least two layers of paper!
    Don’t know if it really is any better this way or not, but it makes me feel better :woohoo:
  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
    Ok good stuff. Thanks to you all. I've wondered about those vacuum sealers. So they do good work? Thanks again for the input. I'll thaw these babies out and see how they smell. Hopefully they'll be good to go.

  • edg1edg1 Posts: 86
    In most cases, when they say "Use by such & such a date", what they mean is that they have figured out taste deterioration. It has nothing to do with "safety". After the date printed, they figure most people will be able to tell the difference between fresh & not fresh.

    BTW: This applies to most medicines as well.

  • toothpicktoothpick Posts: 154
    Awesome. Thanks.
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