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Frozen Precooked Meats

Contributors: Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN

Published: February 28, 2020

Reviewed: January 22, 2020

frozen precooked nuggets
paisan191/iStock/Thinkstock

To ensure proper handling, storage and preparation of frozen precooked meats, follow these tips:

Buying

  • Select your frozen meats after shopping for non-perishables
  • Make sure the packaging is tightly sealed and is very cold to the touch
  • Check the "sell-by" date — do not purchase food with an expired "sell-by" date

Storing

  • Make sure the freezer temperature is set at or below 0°F
  • Defrost frozen meats in the refrigerator or in the microwave — never on the counter
  • Defrosted meat should be eaten within 3-4 days

Preparing

  • Wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before handling food
  • Use two separate cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination, one for raw foods and the other for ready-to-eat foods
  • Refer to the preparation instructions on the package for proper cooking and storage procedures
  • Use a food thermometer to cook to proper temperature
  • Don't leave frozen meat un-refrigerated for more than two hours

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