Frozen garlic bread is both delicious and practical, as it can be stored for a long time in the freezer and is quickly prepared for consumption.
I always keep a twin pack of garlic bread in the freezer, as they fit many meals and make for a tasty and quick appetizer or side dish.
Mine never really stay there for long because our family loves to eat them, but I know that others keep that yummy bread in the freezer for quite a while, so I wanted to find out if frozen garlic bread can actually expire.
While frozen food products, such as garlic bread, must have an expiration date, they don’t expire if stored correctly in the freezer. If it isn’t, frozen garlic bread may develop freezer burn, which isn’t dangerous but can affect your food’s flavor and texture.
Read on to learn more about how to freeze (and refreeze) frozen garlic bread and best avoid freezer-burned food.
How Long Can You Keep Garlic Bread in the Freezer?
Frozen garlic bread can be kept frozen indefinitely, as food poisoning bacteria cannot grow in your freezer.
Over time, however, the risk of freezer burn may increase, which is why you should eat your frozen garlic bread within 12 to 18 months of its purchase.
While you will always find an expiration date or best-before label on a package of store-bought garlic bread, that date basically becomes meaningless when you put it in your freezer.
No matter how long a food is frozen, it’ll always be safe to eat, given that it is stored correctly, that is!
Correct frozen food storage does imply the following:
- either kept in its original packaging
- or kept tightly in freezer bags or airtight containers (if you’ve taken your garlic bread out of its original packaging)
When it comes to the original packaging, I’d avoid keeping frozen garlic bread in a carton, as that is not an airtight container whatsoever! At least if you are planning on keeping it frozen for many months.
Because the longer it’ll stay in that carton, the more air will get in, and the more water will escape from your bread.
And that’s precisely how you get freezer burn!
Freezer burn occurs when frozen food gets dehydrated and oxidated while being stored in the freezer.
While this isn’t a hazardous condition, it can decrease your food’s overall quality, texture, and, most importantly, its flavor.
Freezer-burned will generally cause your food to develop dry spots and taste bland, making it not appealing at all to eat (or even thaw, for that matter).
So, either eat your carton-stored frozen garlic bread within a couple of weeks or months to avoid freezer burn or take it out of the carton and put it in an airtight freezer bag or container if you’re planning on keeping it longer in the freezer.
Can You Refreeze Thawed Garlic Bread?
As most garlic bread brands only contain wheat, milk, butter, vegetable oils, and garlic powder (as well as a few preservatives), they can generally be refrozen after having been thawed.
The same goes for store-bought garlic bread that contains dairy (cheeses) or meat (ham, bacon, salami, etc.).
However, it’s important to keep your garlic bread in the fridge while it thaws and keep it cold until refreezing! Especially if it contains cheese or meat.
The USDA states that both raw and cooked food that is thawed in the refrigerator is safe to refreeze without heating.
Just be aware that this might reduce your bread’s quality and taste somewhat, as it will lose moisture while thawing.
PRO TIP: An easy way of preventing moisture loss during thawing is to cover your garlic bread with a wet kitchen towel! This will keep your bread hydrated, whether you refreeze it or heat it in your oven.
How Do You Know if Frozen Garlic Bread Has Gone Bad?
Okay, so we have established that garlic bread can’t go bad while it’s in your freezer.
But it certainly can go bad if you have left it out for too long while thawing or if there was a power outage that caused your garlic bread to thaw in your freezer. Those things happen!
That’s why it’s never a bad idea to smell your garlic bread once it’s out of the freezer and to check for noticeable mold or fungus.
If you spot any such visible indications, or if the bread smells moldy or just generally off, you’ll know that it has gone bad and that you must throw it.
Can You Get Food Poisoning from Garlic Bread?
Basic frozen garlic bread containing only wheat, butter, and garlic, whether from the supermarket or homemade, is highly unlikely to cause food poisoning.
Garlic bread that contains cheeses or any type of meat, on the other hand, can and does cause food poisoning.
Once again, this would probably only be the case if you’ve left your bread thawing for way too long or if you’d consume it many days after it has been heated.
But I think most of us would notice that something is off with our garlic bread in a case like that and would simply choose not to eat it!
Additionally, if you’ve used real garlic on your homemade garlic bread, there is a risk with that as well, as it is possible to get food poisoning from bad garlic.
Garlic poisoning is almost always caused by poor handling of the garlic root (i.e., having kept it in your kitchen for far too long) rather than by the actual garlic bread.
In some cases, the consumption of bad garlic has even led to botulism, which is a severe and potentially fatal illness!
So, if you make your own garlic bread at home, make sure always to use fresh and newly-bought garlic in your butter! It tastes so much better too!
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