Proper handling is crucial when storing pork to prevent food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella, E. coli, trichinosis and others. The USDA advises consumers to keep pork frozen for safe long-term storage and to follow the proper thawing and refreezing methods to prevent the consumption of spoiled pork which may cause severe illness.
Pork must be cooked or frozen within three to five days after purchase. If you plan on cooking the pork within this time period, you may store it in your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Pork frozen in your freezer will remain safe to eat as long as it is frozen but the USDA warns that the quality of the meat may be reduced after extended periods of freezing. For the best flavor, use frozen pork steaks within six to 12 months, pork chops within four to six months and pork roasts within four to 12 months.
The USDA advises storing frozen pork in a freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. If you are unsure of the temperature of your freezer, use an appliance thermometer to make sure your freezer is keeping your food sufficiently frozen. Look for a refrigerator/freezer appliance thermometer because these tools are specially designed to provide accurate readings at low temperatures. Test your freezer by wedging the top of the thermometer between two bags of frozen vegetables with the probe end of the thermometer exposed to the air in your freezer. Check the thermometer after five to eight hours. If the temperature is higher than 2 degrees Fahrenheit, adjust the temperature setting on your freezer and test again after approximately eight hours.
Frozen pork can be safely thawed in the refrigerator, microwave or by soaking the pork in an airtight plastic bag in cold water. If you thaw frozen pork using the microwave or cold water methods, the pork must be cooked because it may have reached temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit during thawing and could contain harmful bacteria. If necessary, you may freeze the pork after it has been cooked. Frozen pork thawed in the refrigerator can be safely frozen again within three to five days because the refrigerator will keep the pork at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you place the frozen pork into a plastic bag or a large bowl when thawing to prevent pork juices from dripping onto other foods in your refrigerator. These juices may contaminate cooked food or produce in your refrigerator and cause illness.
How Long Is Pork Good for While Frozen?
How Long Does It Take for Pork to Spoil ...
Can I Eat Pork That Smells Bad if I ...
How Do I Tell If Pork Has Turned Bad?
Can I Freeze Pork Immediately After ...
How to Store Leftover Roast Pork
FDA Food Storage Temperature Guidelines
How to Use a Roaster for Pork
Can You Freeze Shish Kabobs?
How to Cook Marinated Pork Loin From a ...
If Meat Is Frozen, How Long Does It ...
How to Cook a Center Cut Pork Loin in a ...
How to Braise Pork
How to Freeze Pork Chops
Should Pork Chops Be Washed Before ...
How to Smoke Pork on a Gas Grill
How to Know When Pork Roast Goes Bad
Can You Cook Pork Two Days After ...
How to Know if Bacon Has Gone Bad
How Long Do Thawed Pork Chops Stay ...
Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.