Freezing involves rapidly cooling food products to extreme temperatures, between -18°C and -35°C. This intense cooling freezes the water in the food, preventing the formation of ice crystals. This way, you preserve the cellular structure, ensuring optimal food quality.

However, freezing doesn't mean "can be consumed even after years”. You must follow some rules. To shed light on this matter, Cool & Simple provides you with the best advice on everything about preserving your frozen foods!

Recommended Storage Duration Based on Food Types

The storage duration of frozen foods can vary depending on the type of food, its preparation, and storage conditions.

Fish and Seafood

You can store seafood and shellfish for varying periods. For example, you can keep cooked crab for about one month, shrimp for between 2 and 4 months, and shucked mussels for up to 3 months. Raw oily fish like salmon can be stored for up to 2 months, while lean raw fish can be stored for up to 6 months.


For meats, it also varies. You can store lamb for between 6 and 9 months, bacon for 1 and 2 months, and beef for 6 and 12 months. Cooked meats can be stored for about 2 to 4 months, whether with or without sauce.

Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs

Generally, you can store fruits, vegetables, and herbs for up to 1 year.

Prepared Dishes

Prepared dishes such as soups, pastries, and pâtés can be stored for a few months, ranging from 1 to 3 months, depending on the type of dish.

Remember that these guidelines are general estimates, and the food quality may vary depending on several factors. You can refer to this article to learn about frozen products' shelf life.

Optimal Storage Conditions

To optimize the quality of your frozen foods, storing your provisions correctly and maintaining a constant temperature in your freezer is crucial. Here are some practical tips to ensure optimal preservation:

Freezer Organization

In an upright freezer (opens from the side), group foods of the same type go in dedicated drawers. For example, meats in one drawer, fish in another, and vegetables in a third. In a chest freezer (opens from the top), organize the foods to place the most delicate products and those with the closest expiration date on top.

Rapid Freezing

When you return from grocery shopping, store your frozen goods quickly in your freezer to prevent them from starting to thaw. Also, avoid freezing products that are nearing their expiration date. Freezing them does not stop deterioration once thawed.


Before freezing hot preparations (sauces, soups, etc.), divide them into practical portions and cool them quickly. Place the containers in a sink filled with cold water and ice to speed up cooling and prevent warming of the entire freezer.

Proper Packaging

Protect your foods from the air by sealing them tightly. Use freezer bags, thick aluminum foil, or plastic or glass containers for freezing. If you want to freeze freshly purchased meat from the supermarket, remove it from its packaging and transfer it to a suitable freezer bag to avoid freezer burn. Also, avoid using containers that may crack due to the cold.

Signs of Frozen Product Deterioration

Have your freezer stocked with provisions for a while, and are you still trying to figure out what's edible? Pay attention to these details:

Texture degradation

Foods that have become soft, wet, or have areas of excessive thawing may indicate spoilage.

Colour alteration

Do you notice browning or the appearance of spots on your products, particularly on meat? It could indicate that the foods are no longer safe to consume.

Taste change

A product with an unpleasant taste can be an obvious sign of deterioration: a strange, rotten, or unpleasant odour, as well as a taste different from what you're accustomed to, should alert you.

Broken cold chain

Has your freezer malfunctioned? Foods will remain frozen for 48 hours if closed and filled. A half-filled freezer will keep frozen foods for about 24 hours

Once power is back, check if your foods are frozen and the cold chain is intact. Here's how to sort them out:

  • Foods with a still firm center can be refrozen;

  • Thawed raw foods that have not exceeded 4 °C can be cooked and then refrozen or quickly consumed after cooking;

  • Thawed foods such as hard block cheeses, bakery products (bread, muffins, etc.), and fruits should be consumed quickly (within 1 or 2 days);

  • More fragile foods from a microbiological standpoint (meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, dairy products, etc.) that have reached a temperature of over 4°C should be discarded.

Tips for Safe Thawing

Thawing food is essential to preserve its quality and avoid bacterial growth, which can pose health risks. Here are some recommendations for safely thawing your provisions:

Thawing in the Refrigerator

Thawing in the fridge is the safest method! Place the food in a clean container on a plate to catch drips and avoid cross-contamination. Thaw meat in the lower part of the refrigerator to prevent drips.

Thawing in the Microwave

The microwave is a suitable thawing method if you cook the food immediately after. Place the unwrapped food in a clean container (preferably glass) and thaw it using the microwave's "defrost" function.

Thawing in Water

  • Under running water: Thaw foods under cold water in a disinfected sink, ensuring that the packaging is waterproof to avoid contamination;

  • Submerged in water: Place the foods in a clean container filled with cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until completely thawed.

Recipe Ideas for Frozen Foods Approaching Expiry Date

Are some of your frozen foods nearing their expiration date? Here are some delicious recipe ideas to avoid waste and make the most of your Cool & Simple products. These recipes help prevent wastage of your products nearing their expiry date and allow you to enjoy delicious dishes ready in minutes!

Frozen Food Storage Duration: Key Points to Remember

  • Recommended storage duration for frozen products: Each food item has its storage duration;

  • Optimal storage conditions: Place your frozen foods in appropriate containers, label them with expiration dates, and keep the most sensitive items within easy reach in your freezer

  • Signs of frozen food deterioration: Learn to recognize signs that may indicate potential food deterioration to avoid any risk of contamination and protect your health;

  • Safe thawing tips: By following appropriate thawing methods (refrigerator, microwave, water), you can prevent bacterial growth and preserve the quality of the food;

Recipe ideas for frozen foods: Use your frozen products nearing expiration date to cook delicious recipes and delight your loved ones!