Frozen Precooked Meats

Reviewed by Eleese Cunningham, RDN
frozen precooked nuggets


To ensure proper handling, storage and preparation of frozen precooked meats, follow these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:


  • 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


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


  • 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 meatballs or chicken nuggets un-refrigerated for more than two hours
  • Defrost meat in the refrigerator or in the microwave — never on the counter — by using the defrost setting

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