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From the Arizona State Health Department: 
Freezer Storage

The best temperature for frozen food storage is at 0░F (-17░C). The temperature should not reach higher than 5░F (-15░C). Check the temperature with a thermometer, or use this rule of thumb: If the freezer can't keep ice cream brick-solid, the temperature is above the recommended level. The freezing compartments of some home refrigerators are not designed to give a temperature of 0░F, the temperature needed for prolonged storage of frozen foods. Hold frozen foods in these compartments only a few days. In refrigerator freezers where temperature can be maintained at 0░F (-17░C) in the freezer cabinet, food may be kept for the same storage periods as in a separate freezer.

Date food packages with an "expiration date" according to maximum storage time recommended if they are not date coded. Longer storage is not dangerous, but flavors and textures deteriorate.

Package frozen foods in moisture-vapor-proof (MVP) packages or freezer containers. Holes in freezer packages cause freezer burn.

When shopping, pick up frozen foods just before going to the checkouts. Purchase only the foods that are frozen solid. Place them in the home freezer as soon as possible. Cook or thaw according to label instructions.

Place foods to be frozen in the coldest part of the freezer. Freeze no more than three pounds per cubic foot of freezer space within 24 hours. Keep the freezer full for best results. Also keep a written inventory of freezer contents.


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