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How to Tell If Frozen Ravioli Is Bad

Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.

How convenient it is to reach in the freezer and pull out a package of frozen ravioli. It’s tasty, easy to make, and ready to prepare. But what if that box of frozen ravioli has been hiding in your freezer for months?

It’s important to know if frozen ravioli is safe before you put it on your plate. No food is worth the risk of food poisoning, a condition that is inconvenient but can also be fatal. Let’s look at some ways to tell if frozen ravioli is still safe to eat and what precautions you should take when freezing and using it.

What’s in Frozen Ravioli?

First, you might wonder what’s in that box of frozen ravioli? The outer pasta shell is made from water, flour, oil, eggs, and salt. All these food components are low in moisture. This makes pasta dough an ideal candidate for freezing.

The interior varies with the type of frozen ravioli you purchase. You can find options that contain various types of meat; you can also find vegetarian options like cheese, spinach, or mushrooms. You might have your own personal favorite!

How to Tell If Frozen Ravioli Is Bad

You can safely store frozen ravioli in the freezer for months or even years if you keep the temperature low enough to prevent bacterial growth. However, freezer burn can be a problem if you store frozen ravioli too long. Even if frozen ravioli has freezer burn, it’s still safe to eat.

However, freezer burn affects the taste and quality of food. Frozen ravioli with freezer burn is dehydrated to the point where it’s best to discard it for quality purposes. The longer you store it in the freezer, the more likely it is that freezer burn will develop and the quality will degrade. Signs of freezer burn include ice crystals around the pasta, as well as ravioli that look dried out and/or smaller due to water loss.

Assuming you freeze it properly, you can safely store frozen ravioli in the freezer for up to six months. Signs that you should discard it might include if the ravioli has changed colors or has an unusual smell. If there’s bacterial growth, you might also notice a slimy texture. If you have any doubts, it’s best to toss it. Don’t take a chance on getting food poisoning.

How to Store It in the Freezer

When you freeze ravioli, the temperature should be at 0 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacterial growth. The best approach is to store all frozen food at a steady temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. For safety and quality purposes, keep ravioli in its original container to reduce the risk of the food drying out.

When you place a package of frozen ravioli in the freezer, ensure that it’s wrapped well and that there are no gaps where air can enter. Use a piece of tape and marker to write the date you froze it on the package, so you know how long an item has been in the freezer.

With any frozen food, check the packaging for signs that it may have been thawed and refrozen. Some signs of thawing and refreezing include ice crystals on the packaging or ice build-up on the bottom of the package.

When Thawed, Use Immediately

Once you thaw a box of frozen ravioli, use it right away. If it’s exposed to two hours at room temperature, it’s no longer safe to eat and it’s best to discard it. If you notice these signs on your frozen ravioli, throw it away immediately; freezing doesn't make the food any safer or less harmful to consume.

Enjoy Frozen Ravioli Safely

Frozen ravioli is a great option for families who want to save money and enjoy a tasty and filling food. It will keep in the freezer for months and up to a year if you don’t allow it to thaw. In terms of food quality, prolonged freezing can cause the pasta to dry out or develop freezer burn. This reduces the quality to the point that you may not enjoy eating it.

References

"Freezing and Food Safety | Food Safety and Inspection Service." 15 Jun. 2013, https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/freezing-and-food-safety.

"Food Safety: Best Freezing & Thawing Practices." 06 Apr. 2016, https://www.foodsafety.com.au/blog/food-safety-best-freezing-thawing-practices.

"A Food Safety Guide To Freezing Foods - Hygiene Food Safety." 26 Jul. 2018, https://hygienefoodsafety.org/freezing-foods/.

"Freezer Burn: Why It Happens and Tips to Prevent It - Healthline." 17 Feb. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/freezer-burn.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.