How long can you freeze meat? The Scott Brothers Butchers meat freezing guidelines

You can freeze your tasty Scott Brothers delivery for future scrummy meals, as just about all our products freeze brilliantly (check the product label for confirmation).

Freezing is a fantastic way to keep food for a long time, but too long and the flavour, colour and texture will be affected. Our product labels say how long we recommend freezing the product and the following gives you general guidelines.

Remember, not all freezers perform exactly the same and storage times may be affected by how much is being stored.

How long can you freeze meat?

How long can you freeze beef?

  • Beef Roasts – Up to 12 months
  • Beef Steaks – Up to 12 months
  • Beef Mince – Up to 6 months

How long can you freeze chicken?

  • Chicken Breast and Leg – Up to 6 months
  • Whole Chicken – Up to 6 months

How long can you freeze turkey?

  • Turkey Breast and Leg – Up to 6 months
  • Whole Turkey – Up to 6 months

How long can you freeze lamb?

  • Lamb Roasts – Up to 12 months
  • Lamb Fillets – Up to 12 months
  • Lamb Mince – Up to 6 months

How long can you freeze pork?

  • Bacon – Up to 3 months
  • Pork Roasts – Up to 12 months
  • Pork Steaks – Up to 12 months
  • Pork Fillets – Up to 12 months
  • Pork Chops – Up to 6 months
  • Pork Mince – Up to 6 months

How long can you freeze venison?

  • Venison Roasts – Up to 12 months
  • Venison Steaks – Up to 12 months
  • Venison Mince – Up to 6 months

How long can you freeze processed meat?

Sausages

Up to 3 months

Hamburgers

Up to 6 months

Black Pudding

Up to 3 months

How long can you freeze cooked meat?

  • Cooked meat or poultry leftovers – Up to 3 months
  • Pies and pastries – Up to 3 months
  • Haggis – Up to 6 months
  • Meat stock – Up to 6 months

Advice about freezing and defrosting

What should I do when I freeze meat products?

  • Freeze your fresh Scott Brothers products as soon as you can on delivery.
  • Only freeze food that is within its use-by date and don’t refreeze raw meat that has previously been frozen.
  • Freeze the meat as portions. For instance, slice your black pudding and freeze in slice batches in separate freezer bags, so you can defrost just what you need for your cooked breakfast treat.
  • Remember to label and date your frozen items so there are no surprises on defrosting!
  • If not cutting into portions, you can freeze our products in the packaging they come in – which will be labelled and dated. If the packaging is damaged, repack for freezing.
  • If items aren’t wrapped properly when frozen, they may get freezer burn from air exposure. This results in discolouration of the meat, such as brown spots on your beef. The meat is still perfectly edible, but it can affect the taste, so you may want to trim off any affected areas.
  • It’s fine to freeze cooked meat, including meat leftovers and meals cooked from previously frozen meat. Just let it cool before freezing.

 

How should I defrost meat products?

Freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. They ‘go to sleep’ while the product is frozen, due to the low temperature and lack of water. When food defrosts, its core temperature rises and it is open to moisture in the air – giving the right conditions for bacteria to become active again.

  • The best way to defrost frozen items is in the fridge. If that’s not possible, use the defrost setting on a microwave just before cooking. You can also defrost items under cold running water, but keep raw meat and poultry in sealed containers to avoid cross-contamination and don’t use warm or hot water.
  • Make sure you allow plenty of time for the product to defrost in the fridge. Small pieces of meat can thaw in around 6 hours in the fridge, but large items, such as a joint, can take up to 48 hours.
  • Put items at the bottom of the fridge to defrost on a tray or plate to catch any juices, and cover them to avoid any cross-contamination. Don’t put them above cooked or ready-to-eat produce.
  • Make sure your food is fully defrosted before cooking it. The meat should be soft to the touch. If not full defrosted, it may not cook evenly and harmful bacteria could survive its cooking.
  • Once food is defrosted, eat it within 24 hours. Do not refreeze raw meat once defrosted, though once cooked it can then be refrozen.

 

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