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We’ve all opened our refrigerator doors to outdated dairy or expired goods–but when it comes to frozen foods, the real test of time is whether those foods have freezer burn.

And if you’ve purchased a freezer-full of Jersey Fresh produce from Muzzarelli Farms just waiting to be cooked this winter—should you be worried about freezer burn?

Here’s what you can do to cut down on waste and keep your frozen foods fresher for longer.

From fresh cuts of beef and store-bought veggies to half-eaten pints of rainbow swirl Halo Top—freezer burn doesn’t discriminate. And while it doesn’t appear overnight, a general rule of thumb is three months for any food. But that’s just the thing—it’s not about food…

It’s about packaging. Extended exposure to air draws out the moisture from meat, vegetables, and even ice cream—and unless packaging is air-tight, air will inevitably come into contact with all frozen foods. Holes in bags or cellophane will expedite the burn effect, so it’s important to inspect what goes into the freezer so you won’t waste what’s otherwise fine.

Pack it up, pack it in—pack your food as tightly as you can to cut down on exposure to air. Consider placing plastic wrap under the lids of containers and wrapping meat and baked goods in foil before stowing in a freezer bag.

Set it right—freezer burn occurs when the temperature flux in your freezer rises over 0°F. Ensure your setting is never above, and check to see if your door is sealed when closed.

Keep it cool—packaging and placing hot food directly in the freezer is more susceptible to freezer burn before the typical three-month expiry. Allow hot foods to cool in the fridge before storing in the freezer.

Filled to the brim—filling your freezer by at least 75% will help regulate the temperature and keep it from working harder. A steady temperature will cut down on the frequency of freezer burn.

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