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Buy your favorite Frozen Food online with Instacart. Order Frozen Snacks, Frozen Beverages, Frozen Fruit, and more from local and national retailers near you and enjoy on-demand, contactless delivery or pickup within 2 hours.
FAQs about frozen food
Many different foods can be frozen and used at a later date. Prepackaged foods that come frozen include pizza, vegetables, fruits, grains, waffles and pancakes, pasta, dumplings, and many others. You can also get individual ingredients and keep them in your freezer to prolong their shelf life, including all types of meat, poultry, and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and eggs and egg substitutes.
Make sure to follow proper directions when freezing foods, as some foods should be frozen in certain states. For example, if you are freezing eggs, they should be removed from their shells, beaten together, and frozen.
In most cases, frozen foods retain their minerals and vitamins. Freezing food also doesn't change the fat, protein, or carbohydrate content. Some frozen foods actually have more minerals and vitamins than their fresh counterparts because fresh foods can lose some of their nutritional value over time, but the process of freezing helps preserve important nutrients.
Incorporating more frozen foods into your diet may help you achieve your health goals. Frozen vegetables and fruits are easy to use and last longer than fresh produce, which can help reduce food waste. You can find frozen foods across all food groups, including protein, whole grains, fruits, dairy, and vegetables, making it easy to put together a balanced meal.
Frozen food timelines vary, depending on the type of food being placed in the freezer, although the general rule across all food groups is three months. According to FoodSafety.gov, a site that compiles food safety information from several U.S. government agencies, certain types of meat should be consumed within one to two months of freezing. These meats include hot dogs, lunch or deli meat, bacon, and sausage. Whole chickens can last for up to a year when frozen properly, and lamb and beef steaks, chops, and roasts can last for up to 12 months as well.
Packaged foods will often include a “best by” date, which you can use to determine when to eat them. If the food has been properly sealed before freezing, it's generally considered safe to eat even after the date printed on the packaging, although the texture or quality may not be as good.
Some frozen foods should be defrosted before preparing or cooking, while others are meant to go straight from the freezer to the oven, microwave, or stovetop. Before you pull out food to defrost it, make sure to read the cooking instructions on the package. Frozen pizza, vegetables, dumplings, pasta, and fish can generally be cooked from frozen, while meats such as chicken and beef should typically be defrosted to ensure even cooking.
When defrosting frozen foods, make sure to follow proper methods to maintain the safety of the food. Some of the best methods for thawing include placing the items in the refrigerator for several hours, placing food in cool water and changing the water periodically, and using the defrost setting on a microwave oven. Leaving meat out at room temperature can increase the risk of bacteria growth.
Although many frozen food items can remain frozen indefinitely, some should be consumed within a certain period of time. The packaging may indicate a “best by” date, which tells you when the manufacturer recommends that you eat it. However, you can also look for warning signs that frozen food has gone bad. These signs include:
- Freezer burn, which occurs when dehydration and oxidation occur when air reaches the food.
- Change in the texture.
- Unpleasant odor.
- Damaged packaging.
- Liquid that has leaked from the packaging, resulting in a frozen puddle.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it's best to avoid eating the food. It may not be harmful to your health, but it probably won't taste very good. You can reduce the risk of freezer burn, texture changes, or leaking by ensuring that your frozen food is always wrapped in airtight sealed packaging before placing it in your freezer.
Instacart makes it easy to get the frozen foods you need to whip up your favorite recipes or enjoy an easy meal at home. You can place an order to be ready within 2 hours, making mealtime even easier for you and your family! Pickup and delivery options are available, enabling you to select the method that simplifies meal prep.