How Long Can You Freeze a Turkey – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2-3 years

Turkey meat is one of the most nutritious and most loved meats in the world. The meat is from the birds known as turkeys that are mostly found in Turkey, hence the name. It is a well-known poultry dish that is widely consumed, especially during the festive seasons.

During the festive seasons, turkeys are on high demand, and their prices shoot at this time. Fresh turkeys tend to be more expensive than preserved or frozen ones. Many people freeze their turkeys and wait until the festive seasons when they can sell them at a relatively higher price.

How Long Do Turkeys Stay In A Freezer?

Freezing is one of the most effective ways of freezing food items. Turkeys can be frozen as well, and they stay longer than any other meat. The average period that turkey meat can be frozen is between 2-3 years without changing its color and taste.

Otherwise, it can stay up to five years in a good freezer without going wrong, but there will be a change in its taste. How will the shift in taste? After staying for more than three years in the freezer, the turkey loses its original flavor.

Upon cooking it after it has completed this duration in the freezer, the meat will not be palatable as it would be if it stayed for the recommended time.

Freezing and thawing reduce the palatability of the meat if they are done for a more extended period. Afterward, preparing the meat will include spices and other food additives that will enhance its taste.

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According to the US department of food and agriculture, foodstuffs that are continuously stored at a temperature of zero degrees and below stay safe for long. The only changes that can occur to such foods are the quality, which includes flavor, texture, and taste.

Why Turkey Meat Stays Longer In A Freezer?

First, you should understand that a freezer always operates below zero degrees Celsius. At this temperature, there is no even a single enzyme that can survive? Why because they have been deactivated; hence, there will be no digestion or any decaying process that will take place.

Secondly, all the factors that facilitate the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that may affect meat have been made inactive or absent. When you talk of moisture, there is no moisture in the freezer. Temperature is below zero, and few organisms can survive in that condition. However, before you store your turkey meat in the freezer, you should ensure that the fridge is clean and free from moisture as well. It does not mean that the freezer has to be dirty because bacteria cannot survive below zero temperatures.

Psychrophilic organisms are specific types of microorganisms that can survive below in temperatures ranging between -20 to +10 degrees Celsius. It is good to ensure a high level of cleanliness in and outside the freezer. Hygiene also plays a significant role in the long life of the turkey placed in the freezer.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643815303893
  2. https://pure.mpg.de/rest/items/item_2557715_5/component/file_3053316/content
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