When you're a college student, frozen food is your savior. Whether you need lunches for your internship, or a quick dinner after a long day of classes, frozen food is always there for you. You probably have a stockpile of frozen meals in your freezer, which begs the question: can frozen food go bad?

There is nothing worse than coming home from classes or work (with a long to-do list in mind), and realizing you don't have anything in the fridge for dinner. You do, however, have frozen food in the freezer (thank god), but how long has it been there?

How Long is Too Long?

vegetable, pepper, cheese, tomato
Taylor Villanueva

Technically, there is no "too long" when it comes to frozen foods. They can last indefinitely in a good freezer and still be good to eat, but they might not taste great. Freezer burn will start to affect your food after about three to six months. 

While it is completely safe to eat, food with freezer burn becomes dehydrated and lacks flavor and texture. To prevent it, try and get as much air out of packaging as possible.

#SpoonTip: To air-seal a bag without a vacuum seal, all you need is a ziplock bag and a large bowl of water. Find out how here

Does this apply to all foods?

vegetable, pea, frozen peas, legume, broccoli, cabbage
Katherine Baker

It does, although some foods do have different lifetimes in a freezer. According to an infographic from LifeHacker food can last indefinitely in the freezer, although different foods attract freezer burn at different times.

For example steaks can last from six to twelve months in a freezer, while bacon will only last about a month. There are, however, some foods that you should never freeze like milk, salad greens and cheese. 

beer, cheese
Jocelyn Hsu

The FDA also has handy chart on how long foods can be kept in a refrigerator and a freezer. They recommend that you keep your fridge at 40° F and your freezer at 0º F. 

Since you now know the answer to "can frozen food go bad," don't worry about grabbing your fave Trader Joe's frozen meal that you found in the back of your freezer. Frozen food is basically immortal, but remember to keep it as airtight as possible.