While there are several ways to preserve chicken, the most common way to save and store many foods (like chicken) is in the freezer.

An often asked question is, “How long can chicken (and other food) be saved-stored in the freezer and still be safe to eat?”

Here’s the answer:


Food stored constantly at 0 °F will always be safe

Always. Every time; on every occasion; without exception.

According to the USDA, as long as the freezer temperature is zero-degrees-F or below, the food will always be safe.

Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage (texture, flavor, taste).

Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.

Freezing to zero-degrees-F inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds.

Because freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only.

Over time, all frozen foods will eventually start to go downhill when it comes to texture, flavor and taste. You’re likely going to experience some dryness and loss of flavor. So roasting and serving the chicken whole may not be the best way to go. Instead, you might want to opt for cooking the chicken first and then using it in a soup, stew or casserole.

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