Before the freezer was invented, cold weather and snow were basically the only ways to keep food cold. To preserve our food, those who lived in places with colder climates had to make freezers by digging holes in the ground and then filling them with snow and covering them with straw. Food was normally gathered for immediate consumption.


However, in the 1800’s came the invention of the refrigerator. Even though it took a while to become a staple in home kitchens, the refrigerator eventually changed the way we consumed and ate.


And still today, we’re taking our freezers for granted, funny thing is, we don’t seem to know how to take full advantage of them yet. Most people will throw a piece of chicken or beef in the freezer to ensure that it doesn’t spoil in the fridge. But what happens then? how often do you toss a piece of frozen meat because you don’t remember how long it’s been in there or how long you actually should keep your meat frozen for? It may surprise you that your meat can last quite a while in the freezer.


There has probably been a lot of good meat thrown out because of this, which is just a shame. If this might be you, have a look at the meat guide below, this information is provided by the USDA.


A great little trick is to use zip-seal bags and a permanent marker to write the date on it, this way you won’t have to question how long it’s been in your freezer.


Freezing times:


  • Cooked poultry – up to 4 months
  • Uncooked parts of poultry – up to 9 months
  • Uncooked whole poultry – up to 12 months
  • Cooked meats – around 2 to 3 months
  • Uncooked roasts – around 4 to 12 months
  • Uncooked chops or steaks – around 4 to 12 months
  • Uncooked ground meat – around 3 to 4 months


At Crown National we supply some of the best meat ingredients. With a history going back over a century, our company is one of the leading food ingredient suppliers throughout South Africa. For more information visit the Crown National website on


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