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Mar 9, 2009 09:11 AM

I have chicken in the freezer that is a year old. Is it usable?

The title pretty much says it all. I've been going through my freezer and realized I have 3 lbs. of chicken thighs that have been in the freezer for a year. Are they usable? If not, do you think they just won't taste as good or do I need to worry about any funny bacteria? I'm pregnant, so not really into taking any chances, but wold hate to waste the food.


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  1. I caution you against looking for medical advice on a food/cooking board.
    (It's probably fine. I'd defrost it and smell it, since I trust my nose.)

    1. Ditto what pitu said about defrosting then sniffing... but also:

      Is this a stand alone freezer, or part of a fridge/freezer combo? Are they rock solid and have they been rock solid for that year? If so, they're most likely fine (I have stuff that old that I've used with no problem at all, though the quality has usually deteriorated). Still, if you're worried, defrost in the fridge then smell 'em.

      1. According to the FDA, freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, but frozen chicken parts should be eaten within 9 months for best quality. .

        If the meat is covered with frost, or if it's discolored, I'd cook it and give it to the dogs. Otherwise, I'd use it in a dish with other prominent flavors, so less-than-optimal flavor or texture would be less noticeable. Thai red curry, chicken enchiladas, tom yum gai, something along those lines.

        1. we've done this also. just defrost and sniff. Chicken curry or braised chicken in olives doesn't hurt...

          1. From what I understand, and I'm no expert, long-time freezer storage is not dangerous, but the quality of the food deteriorates. An exception to this, apparently is bacon. The salt in the bacon does not permit freezing properly. One month is all they recommend. I had some salmon in the freezer for two years. Cooked and ate it. No problems but flavour was definitely low grade.

            3 Replies
            1. re: billieboy

              I have never ever had any problem freezing bacon or keeping it solidly frozen for months and months and months on end. I don't know where this idea comes from but this is like the fourth time I've seen it mentioned here in the forums. Sometimes ideas just won't die. :)

              Bacon freezes just fine.

              1. re: Morganna

                Yeah, I have ignored the advice also. Buy on sale and freeze forever (well a few months anyway). Haven't died yet. But before I frooze it I went up on the net and they recommended only one month. If it is on the must be true...:-)


                1. re: Morganna

                  thanks morganna, for repeating that.ditto.