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Published on October 24th, 2012 | by Jody Lamb


The 411 on freezer burn

What causes freezer burn? And is it safe?

People often ask us if the familiar snow-y fuzz that appears on food in freezers is caused by a freezer malfunction. This ultra common “freezer burn” problem is actually caused by food packaging.

Food dehydrates due to exposure to the air in the freezer. Standard supermarket packaging for many foods is not designed to prevent dehydration. If you intend to store food in your freezer for more than a few days, you should place the food in airtight containers or zippered plastic bags specifically made for food preservation and freezer storage.

It is absolutely safe to cook or eat freezer-burned food. However, most people find that the dehydration process destroys the food’s taste and texture. Dehydrated meat is said to be tough and tasteless after cooking. Bottom line? Think about packaging.

Check out advice from the USDA about freezing and food safety here.

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About the Author

Jody Lamb is's Public Relations Manager. She's a copywriter for content marketing and is the editor of this blog. Her favorite part of her daily responsibilities is reading and responding to dozens of notes from customers who've fixed stuff on their own and saved hundreds of dollars. She earned a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University. Suggestions for topics? Email her at JLamb [at] She loves hearing from readers and DIYers!

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