Can you eat food with freezer burn

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat food with freezer burn?” We will also discuss what causes freezer burn, what are its effects on health and how can we prevent it.

Can you eat food with freezer-burn?

Yes, even if you notice that your food is now freezer-burned, you can safely eat it – if you do not mind, of course. Freezer burn is the phenomenon that lets air come into contact with food, causing changes in its quality, taste, and texture.

Have you ever put sausages in the freezer without plastic around them? If you have, then you probably have already tried what a freezer-burn tastes like.

What is a freezer burn?

Whenever we let meat in our freezers for a long time we can notice that it has lost its moisture and its color looks odd. Well, that is what a freezer burn looks like, it is a term that refers to the moisture lost from frozen food.

Not only meat can get freezer burned but vegetables, or even ice cream! You can tell that your food is freezer burned because some signs may appear, such as:

  • Discoloration in spots
  • Food covered in ice crystals
  • Tough appearance
  • Shriveled appearance

What causes freezer burn?

Freezer burns occur when food is exposed to the coldness and dryness of a freezer, this would cause food dehydration because the outer layers will lose their moisture. So, if you left some berries in your freezer and you find a surface full of crystals, then your berries are freezer burned!

Some aspects that make freezer burn more likely to occur are:

  • Improper wrapping of the food. Food that is not tightly wrapped has been left open, or has been exposed to fluctuating temperatures is most likely to get freezer burn.
  • Malfunctioning freezer. If your freezer is not properly working, the food you have stored in it is most likely to get freezer burn.
  • Being for too long in the freezer. The longer your food is exposed to the coldness of the freezer, the higher the chances of freezer burn.

How freezer burn affects food?

Whenever your food gets a freezer burn, then some visible changes will appear, such as the look, texture, and taste of it. This will be the result of drying the sections exposed to the cold and dry air of the freezer.

So, how does food lose its texture when freezer burn happens? Your food is composed of water -and other components- that are found in a liquid state throughout the whole fruit. When the food is in direct contact with the freezer environment, the water will sublimate, which means the water will be transformed into a gas or vapor in the air.

Sublimation is the process in which water changes its composition from liquid to either vapor or gas.

If you want further guidance on this subject, please click here.

What foods can get freezer burn?

Any type of food that is stored in a freezer can get freezer burn. As all food contains water in its composition, dehydration can occur in all of them. Some foods are most affected by freezer burn because of their high water levels, such as:

  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Fruit
  • Ice cream
  • Sausages
  • Vegetables

Some of the most affected by freezer burn are fruits and vegetables, and that is because some of the species in these groups contain humidity higher than 90%, which makes them more likely to get a freezer burn.

Can you consume any food with freezer burn?

Yes, whether it is meat or any kind of food with freezer burn, you can safely eat them. But its texture and flavor may not be very appealing to you. If some sections have a more severe freezer burn, you can chop them off and eat the rest.

If you also notice a bad smell or other signs of spoilage, you must not eat that food, as it can be harmful to your health.

How can freezer burn be prevented?

Sooner or later, if you keep your food in the freezer, this will get freezer burn. But something you can do is to reduce the chances or prolonged their storage life. Some of the general tips to prevent freezer burn are:

  • Set your freezer to 0° F.
  • Do not overfill your freezer.
  • Avoid plastic bags, and use more freezer-safe containers to make them last longer.
  • Wrap your food in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before placing it on containers.
  • Try to store your food with the least air possible, and squeeze out any air before sealing the containers.
  • Try to consume your frozen food within 2 to 4 months.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you eat food with freezer burn?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.