Brits are clueless when it comes to the rules of cooking frozen food, a study has revealed.
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Four in 10 people believe you cannot cook food from frozen, when it is in fact safe to cook chicken breasts, mince and fish straight from the freezer.
Two thirds do not think that all types of food can be frozen, whereas only eggs are generally deemed unsafe by experts.
One in 12 mistakenly believes frozen food doesn’t last as long as fresh, while another one in 10 reckon frozen food is more expensive.
And one fifth wrongly believe frozen fruits and vegetables contain fewer nutrients than their fresh counterparts.
The study of 2,000 adults was carried out by Birds Eye to gauge public understanding of frozen produce.
Dietitian and health writer Laura Tilt analysed the findings and debunked many of the commonly-held perceptions.
She said: “Many, but not all, foods can be cooked from frozen.
''Examples include chicken breasts, mince, pizza, fruit and vegetables, fish and ready meals.
“The best advice is to check the packet of the food for specific cooking and heating instructions.”
The study found that two fifths believe frozen foods are filled with preservatives to give them a longer shelf-life.
One in four believe you can refreeze food once it's thawed without cooking it first, which is also false because you can refreeze it but must be cooked between thawing and refreezing.
Others - 38 per cent - believe you can’t keep frozen food past it’s expiry date when in fact you can, although its quality will deteriorate.
Finally, 41 per cent believe it's dangerous to defrost certain types of food on the counter, when in reality it should, ideally, be defrosted in the fridge to prevent it entering the danger zone of five to 63 degrees.
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Six in 10 said there are certain foods they would prefer to buy frozen, including peas, fish fingers and fish fillets.
It also emerged peas come out on top as the most regularly consumed frozen food, ahead of chips and even ice cream.
Three quarters of us typically opt for frozen foods because of the convenience of it, while three fifths choose frozen as the foods will last longer.
Tilt added: “Two fifths of Brits believe frozen foods are filled with preservatives but the actual freezing process preserves the food, so added preservatives aren’t required.
“Similarly, one third reckons the foods in your freezer are packed with salt but frozen foods don’t actually contain any more salt than fresh. And some frozen foods, like fruit and vegetables, don’t contain any salt at all.
“It’s helpful to look at nutrition labels if trying to cut down your salt intake – both of fresh and frozen foods.”
A spokesman for Birds Eye said: “Birds Eye are committed to delivering delicious nutritious food.
''Frozen food can be a really valuable addition to a family's weekly diet, as the freezing process locks in the 'good stuff'.
''And, let's face it, kids are always changing their minds about what they want to eat – so frozen food is a great way to get a balanced diet without wasting food.”
Lauren Woodley, a Nutrition Manager at Birds Eye, added: “Freezing is great as ice is nature’s preservative, locking in the nutrients and goodness of foods.''
* Birds Eye (https://www.birdseye.co.uk/nutrition/frozen-food-myths), worked in partnership with Laura to debunk the myths surrounding frozen foods and freezing.
Top 20 most popular freezer foods:
4. Fish fillets
8. Plain chicken
9. Fish fingers
10. Ready meals
11. Breaded chicken
13. Ice lollies
14. Yorkshire puddings
16. Green beans
19. Roast potatoes