Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide
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Is it necessary to cook frozen produce?

Answer

Consumers should feel confident in turning to frozen foods as convenient, safe and delicious options to feed their families. Frozen vegetables should be cooked according to package instructions. Frozen fruit, however, is ready to eat (RTE).

How to Safely Enjoy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Most frozen foods are intended to be cooked and the safest way to consume is to carefully follow the package cooking or preparation instructions. Frozen vegetables, like peas for example, should be prepared according to the cooking instructions provided by the manufacturer on packaging to ensure safe consumption. Frozen fruits on the other hand, like frozen strawberries, don’t require cooking at all. Frozen fruits are intended to be thawed and consumed right out of the bag. The bottom line is frozen foods vary and are specifically labeled in accordance with food safety standards and regulations.

You can read more about how to safely enjoy frozen produce here.

Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables need to be cooked according to package cooking instructions for safety and quality. They should not be added to salads, dips or given to young children for teething, thawed, because the low acidity and sugar content in frozen vegetables may not prevent the growth of potentially harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. This is especially important for consumers who fall into vulnerable populations like pregnant, women, infants, elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

Frozen Fruit
Frozen fruits don’t bear cooking instructions. This means you can enjoy frozen right out of the bag in your breakfast smoothie yogurt, or by the handful! Frozen fruit packages don’t bear cooking instructions because fruit has a high acidity and sugar content which can prevent or reduce the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.

From Farm to Freezer
From farm to freezer, frozen fruit and vegetable manufacturers follow stringent food safety practices. Fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and thoroughly cleaned and washed before they are flash frozen, locking in key vitamins and minerals.

Read more about the benefits of frozen foods.

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