5 year old frozen beef...is it safe?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just moved into a rental that has about 20 pounds of local frozen ground beef in the freezer. It is nearly 5 years old. It is well wrapped, and does not smell or look bad. It still has a nice red color, and appears to have been frozen solid the entire 5 years. I am renting the house from the people who bought the beef originally, and they said it was frozen the entire time.

Is it safe to eat? I was thinking of using it in chili and marinara sauce. I figure it will not taste that great...

I would love any input. I don't want to throw it away if it's usable, but I don't want to use it if it will taste awful!!
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#2 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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I would throw it out. I know it is a waste but who knows what could have grown over 5 years.

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#3 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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So long as it hasn't been thawed and frozen again (long power outages, etc), it's safe to eat. Nothing can "grow" when it's frozen. Now it will most likely be rather tough and loss of flavor, but it's edible.
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#4 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So long as it hasn't been thawed and frozen again (long power outages, etc), it's safe to eat. Nothing can "grow" when it's frozen. Now it will most likely be rather tough and loss of flavor, but it's edible.
That is what I was thinking...it would maybe work okay in sauces or for taco meat, but not for burgers.

But I am a *little* nervous...
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#5 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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I would not use it. Even though the people say it's been frozen the whole time, there's no way to know for sure. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to meat, though, so maybe I am just too paranoid.

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#6 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ferrum97 View Post
I would not use it. Even though the people say it's been frozen the whole time, there's no way to know for sure. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to meat, though, so maybe I am just too paranoid.
I am worried about this as well, but it looks and smells fine.
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#7 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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I'm gonna say that with ground beef: better safe, than sorry...and recommend not eating it. But I'm super paranoid about food.

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#8 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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I wouldn't eat it, you don't know for sure it's been frozen the whole time. Actually I would be pretty amazed if they never had a power outage in 5 years.

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#9 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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It is was meat I had purchased I'd eat it, but I wouldn't eat a stranger's meat that is that old. I'd feed it to my dogs.
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#10 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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I would not eat it.
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#11 of 35 Old 10-20-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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I'm pretty lax about some food stuff, but I think, though it would be painful, I would have to toss it.

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#12 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 12:25 AM
 
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It is was meat I had purchased I'd eat it, but I wouldn't eat a stranger's meat that is that old. I'd feed it to my dogs.
that!

i'm pretty lax about food issues too, but i'm totally paranoid about meat, dog or toss it. it's just not worth the risk for me.

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#13 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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no way would I eat it!

I will say though, that I have lived in my house for 9 years and we had one power outage that was more than a flicker and it only lasted 10 mins......so it is not unheard of.
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#14 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 07:46 AM
 
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I wouldn't eat it, you don't know for sure it's been frozen the whole time.
If it has thawed and then refrozen, you would see ice crystals. I would probably try it, myself. I might do a little test of it myself before feeding the family though.

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#15 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 09:23 AM
 
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If it has thawed and then refrozen, you would see ice crystals. I would probably try it, myself. I might do a little test of it myself before feeding the family though.
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#16 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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um, no, I wouldn't take the chance. ~shudder~ Sometimes food may not necessarily taste or look bad but can still harbor something unsafe. 5 years?? No way! And you don't know these people. Not that they are untrustworthy but I just wouldn't take the chance with my family.
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#17 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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If it was my own meat, and had been in a deep-freezer - yes, I'd eat it.

Regular fridge freezer - no way.

Someone else's meat - no way.

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#18 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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Well I would wonder why they haven't eaten it these 5 years and why they didn't clear out their freezer before renting out their house or apartment.
Then I would throw it away. I just don't know how you can be really sure that it's safe to eat.
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#19 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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I would want more information before making that decision. Why did they purchase so much? Where did it originally come from? Is it all the same type of meat? How was hte meat originally handled (prior to freezing)? Is it CAFO meat or locally raised? When did they move out (original purchasers of the meat)? Why didn't they take it with them? Do you know these folks? Are they strangers or friends of friends? What is their attitude toward the meat? Would they eat it? Why or why not? There is no need to answer my questions. I am just sharing my own thought process and how I would approach the situation. Once I had all those answers and a clearer picture of the situation, then I would do some research on frozen meat and I would probably do some experiments with the meat. I wouldn't just throw it out based on the little information you have presented thus far....

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#20 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I think you'll be able to tell if it's bad when you thaw it out, because it will smell rancid.

Also, if it doesn't taste terribly freezer-burned, and you cook it really well, I don't think there's really anything that could make you sick.
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#21 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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um, no, I wouldn't take the chance. ~shudder~ Sometimes food may not necessarily taste or look bad but can still harbor something unsafe. 5 years?? No way! And you don't know these people. Not that they are untrustworthy but I just wouldn't take the chance with my family.
Someone could test this for you...if you knew someone in biology or chemistry maybe they could refer you to a person who could do the testing (??).

I don't eat meat, and never have, but putting myself in your shoes, I'd most likely throw it out (even though it would be painful to do so).

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#22 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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I would not eat the meat or feed the meat to my family. Out in the trash it goes.
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#23 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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I have a crown roast from a lamb we had slaughtered for us 2 years ago in my freezer. Well, I guess 3 years now. And I won't eat it. I've been tryign to give it away on craigslist/freecycle for someone who makes their own dog food.

sorry, there are certain food things I beleive, and frozen meat is only good for 12 mos, maybe 14 max. Otherwise, no way.

There was a house full of food at our house when we moved in. I tossed all of it including a questionable looking shrink-wrapped item we came to call "the deer heart".

Wasteful or not, your safety is more important.
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#24 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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i sometimes eat really old moose meat that has been in my parent's freezer for...years...it's fine.

but i know exactly how long it has been in there, it has stayed frozen, nothing questionable other than the fact that it is old.

random five year old meat? nope.

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#25 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The meat is neatly (double) wrapped in white butcher's paper. It is labeled with the date, source and type of meat. I looked again today and I actually think it is closer to 50 pounds, possibly more!

The meat seriously looks perfect (at least the package I unwrapped did) and I would never guess that it is 5 years old. It looks like it could be a month old. I am leaning toward feeding it to the dog...but I don't want to waste it if it *is* edible.

But I don't think I am brave enough to try it...especially since so many of you are saying no way.
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#26 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone could test this for you...if you knew someone in biology or chemistry maybe they could refer you to a person who could do the testing (??).

I don't eat meat, and never have, but putting myself in your shoes, I'd most likely throw it out (even though it would be painful to do so).
This is an interesting idea.

Also, I know this sounds terrible, but our local food banks have actually been ASKING for expired food. They have 'experts' to determine what is and isn't safe. I am wondering if they would be able to put it to use after they determined whether or not it was okay to eat? The waste factor is just driving me crazy...especially since it looks perfect. There are so many people struggling to put food on the table right now...
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#27 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverGirlie
So long as it hasn't been thawed and frozen again (long power outages, etc), it's safe to eat. Nothing can "grow" when it's frozen. Now it will most likely be rather tough and loss of flavor, but it's edible.
as long as your trust them 100% about it being frozen the whole time. We routinely eat deer meat that has been frozen that long.

 
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#28 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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So long as it hasn't been thawed and frozen again (long power outages, etc), it's safe to eat. Nothing can "grow" when it's frozen. Now it will most likely be rather tough and loss of flavor, but it's edible.
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Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
I think you'll be able to tell if it's bad when you thaw it out, because it will smell rancid.

Also, if it doesn't taste terribly freezer-burned, and you cook it really well, I don't think there's really anything that could make you sick.
That. We regularly have meat in our freezers more than 12 months. And it's always been fine. It's hard to know for sure that it's stayed frozen the entire time, but it's completely possible that it has and it's totally fine.
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#29 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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If I trusted/believed the people that it really had been frozen the whole time, and after hearing more details about why it was there, I would try a bit of it, to see if it was tough or tasted bad. If it tasted ok, sure. If it really was frozen the whole time and you cook it well, it won't make anyone sick, but the taste/texture might be not so good.

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#30 of 35 Old 10-21-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SophieAnn View Post
If it was my own meat, and had been in a deep-freezer - yes, I'd eat it.

Regular fridge freezer - no way.

Someone else's meat - no way.

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