General Freezing Information
Packaging and Labeling Foods
- Cool all foods and syrup before packaging. This speeds up freezing and helps retain the natural color, flavor and texture of food.
- Pack foods in quantities that will be used for a single meal.
- Follow directions for each individual food to determine which can be packed dry and which need added liquid. Some loose foods such as blueberries may be "tray packed".
- Pack foods tightly leaving as little air as possible in the package.
- Most foods require headspace between the packed food and closure to allow for expansion of the food as it freezes. Foods that are exceptions and do not need headspace include loose packing vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli, bony pieces of meat, tray packed foods and breads.
- Seal rigid containers carefully. Use a tight lid and keep the sealing edge free from moisture or food to ensure a good Closure. Secure loose-fitting covers with freezer tape.
- Meats may be packaged using either the "drugstore wrap" or the "butcher wrap."
- Label each package, including the name of the product, any added ingredients, packaging date, the number of servings of amount, and the form of the food, such as whole, sliced, etc. Use freezer tape, marking pens or crayons, or gummed labels that are made especially for freezer use.
This document was extracted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.