John from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia asked:

Can freezing food cause cancer?

Can freezing food cause cancer?

I read that when you freeze some types of food, the food can become infected and it could give you cancer. If so, is it specific types, for example meat versus vegetables, or any frozen food?

The source:
Our answer

There is no evidence to suggest that frozen foods cause cancer. Freezing is commonly used to increase a food’s shelf life and store foods for extended periods. Bringing foods down to below 0°C will stop spoilage caused by micro-organisms that may be present in food. Snap freezing fruits and vegetables can actually help to retain their vitamin and mineral content. Ironically, refrigeration may even help reduce cancer risk by preventing Heliobactor pylori bacteria growing in foods that are spoiling. Heliobactor pylori is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Some reports have suggested that frozen potato chips have been linked with increased cancer risk because the intense cooking process used to commercially-produce some starch-based foods like potato chips, crisps and other snack foods causes the production of a chemical called acrylamide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified acrylamide as ‘potentially carcinogenic to humans’. While more investigation is being conducted to determine the extent of any potential cancer risk, people should limit their consumption of these processed foods because they are often high in fat, kilojoules, sugars and/or salt. Frozen fruit and vegetables can be a convenient way of getting our recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day (maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of cancer), but the freezer section of the local supermarket also contains a lot of unhealthy foods like pies and pastries, fatty meat products and sugary desserts. Remember to use food labels to make sure you are making healthier choices.

This page was last updated on: March 25, 2015
  • 3853 views

Similar things people heard