What exactly are those ice crystals that form on your food?

Freezer burn is the result of air coming into contact with food. All food contains water molecules and since water molecules gravitate towards the coldest place it can find, it will most likely collect on the side of your freezer. The loss of these water molecules causes the food to become dehydrated, leaving it discoloured and covered in ice crystals.

While it may not look appetizing. It is completely safe to eat. It is a food quality issue not a food safety issue and will not cause you to become ill.

How to prevent freezer burn.

This can begin at the store.  Put your frozen items in the cart last so you are not walking around with it in the cart as you shop. To prevent it from thawing on the way home put it in a cooler or surrounded by other frozen items.

At home, make sure your freezer maintains a constant 0 degrees F. Seal food as airtight as you can before placing it in the freezer. Do not place warm or hot items in the freezer as this will cause the temperature to warm up for a short time compromising all the food in the unit. When searching for items try not to keep the freezer door open for too long. Keep your freezer full but not overloaded, so the air can circulate properly and the freezer doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain a constant temperature.

The last way you can prevent your food from becoming freezer-burnt is by using it up in the appropriate time frame. Canada food safety regulations for how long food can safely be frozen can be found here.



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