Freezer Storage

"How long should I store my frozen chicken? I want my family to be safe."

As long as chicken stays frozen, you're safe. Freezer storage is basically a quality issue, not a safety issue. Remember, bacteria only thrive, grow and multiply between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. And it's always advised to cook to 165 degrees to be safe, of course.

At freezer temperatures, bacteria isn't killed off as some people believe. Freezer storage simply causes the bacteria to go dormant. So whatever bacteria was present in your chicken at that time it was frozen simply remain in a frozen state. Their date of execution is the day you cook your chicken to the proper and approved temperature.

So although you don't have to worry about freezer storage of chicken as a safety issue, you will have to worry about it in terms as how good your chicken will taste when you cook it. 

Whole chickens will keep about 1 year if they are properly packaged. This usually means packaged in their original tight wrapping. Obviously, the closer to the 1 year mark of freezer storage, the lesser the quality and flavor will be for them. You theoretically could keep the chicken for years and safely eat it, but by then you probably wouldn't want to. Best cook it and give it to your dog at that point.

Chicken parts such as legs, breasts and thighs have a somewhat shorter acceptable term for freezer storage if properly packaged. You shouldn't keep these in the original pack, but re-wrap to ensure maximum protection from freezer burn. Good quality zip-lock bags either vacuum sealed or sealed using the straw-method is best. Expect to chicken parts to remain usable and tasty for around 9 months maximum.  

Chicken freezes very well and keeps reasonably long in freezer storage. Enjoy your chicken to the max and use it before you lose it. Bon appetit!

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