How to identify if the food you are about to eat has undergone temperature abuse?

How to identify if the food you are about to eat has undergone temperature abuse?

One of the worst things to wake up to, or discover is a freezer gone bad. From stale smells to something dripping, it can be quite the turn-off. Also, apart from being just aesthetically displeasing,  occurrence of something bad in the freezer could also spell danger to yours and your family’s health.

 

Here are signs that something’s definitely gone wrong in your freezer and you’ve to do something about it -

 

1. Crystallization

Those sweet little snowflakes accumulating inside your zip-lock bag? They’re a sign of freezer burn, which happens as water molecules inside your food work their way out of the food toward colder areas of the freezer (like its walls). While that food may still technically be safe to eat, the fact that it’s losing moisture means that the taste and texture won’t be as good when you reheat it. It can also be a sign of fluctuating temperatures inside your freezer.

2. Change in protein color

If that red steak has turned gray-ish brown, or your pink chicken is looking dark brown or gray, beware — those changes in color mean that they’ve come in contact with air. While they might technically be safe to eat, they’re not going to taste great. In fact, just throw them out. You’d rather live healthier knowing you’re not consuming old or stale meat that’s definitely going to give you health complications. 




3. Dull veggies

Store frozen broccoli for too long and it’s going to lose its bright-green exterior. Same with other cooked foods — if they're not as bright as they’re supposed to be, it’s a sign that they’re drying out due to improper packaging or being stored too long.

4. Spills all around

If you see pooling at the bottom of your freezer, especially pinkish-looking meat juices, that’s a bad sign. Either your freezer warmed up somehow and something thawed (meaning it’s no longer safe to eat if you don’t catch it right away) or juices dripped before the item froze, contaminating any items that may have come into contact with the juices. You must clean up the mess and assess what happened, ASAP!

6. Terrible Odour

This smell might not be so obvious until the food is thawed, but, especially for meat and seafood, if it has a funky odor, it has gone bad due to a sub-ideal freezer situation. Don’t even risk it — just call in some takeout.

7. Slimy Film

Once you’ve thawed something, check the texture: If it’s sticky or slimy, it’s probably no good anymore. Sorry.

 

8. It has mold on it

One of the most obvious signs that your food is no longer fit to be eaten is that it has mold on it.