Freezing and Thawing
You can freeze almost any food. That doesn’t mean that the food will be good to eat – or safe.
Likewise, you can thaw food almost anywhere, but there are only three places where you can thaw food safely: in cold water, in the refrigerator, or in a microwave.
Freezing and Food Safety (USDA)
Freezing does not destroy harmful bacteria, but it does keep food safe until you can cook it.
Appliance Thermometers (USDA)
Appliance thermometers help you know if the freezer is cold enough. <Not available in Spanish>
Chart: Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer
Find out how long different foods can be refrigerated or frozen.
Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart (FDA)
Print out this comprehensive chart and keep it on your refrigerator for reference.
The Big Thaw: Safe Defrosting Methods for Consumers (USDA)
Techniques for thawing food in cold water, in the refrigerator, and in a microwave.
Cooking Safely in the Microwave Oven (USDA)
The basics for safely defrosting food in a microwave.
Chill Fact Sheet (Partnership for Food Safety Education)
Follow the “Big Thaw” rules and learn defrosting do’s and don’ts.