I just found a couple of salmon fillets in my freezer that seem to have been there for about two years. Are they still edible, or should I bin them?
I agree with yossarian, if I question it, I chuck it. Although in this case, the salmon probably will not harm you, it might just taste bad. Loss of moisture (freezer burn), taking on of flavours, etc. I wouldn't eat it because it wouldn't taste great. My father-in-law would eat it, because you don't throw out food (his rule). Bottom line, if it has been in the freezer for those two years straight, it won't give you food poisoning or harm you. It's just a matter of palate. But rest assured, it won't taste great.
My grandfather was a commercial fisherman on the NW Pacific coast. He used to salmon charter fish. When he had fish that was "aged" in the freezer he used to make sure he thawed it COVERED in milk. If it was overly fishy, the milk caused the fish to sweeten. You can smell the fish when it is completely thawed and check it's consistency. If it smells fine, and has good consistency for salmon just prepare it with a nice lemon sauce. You can always cook it and then mash it as a pate with herbs and onion for wonderful cracker snacks.
I guess I would take a different approach. I would first thaw the salmon and see if it looked and smelled OK, and if it did I would find a way to use it. True, it probably won't taste as good as it would have the day it went into the freezer, but would probably be palatable in some way. Maybe used in salmon cakes? or a salmon chowder.
I have found and used walleye fillets in my freezer that were several years old (I used to bad at labeling) that tasted just fine. I figure an animal died to provide me this meat, so I should do everything I can to make sure that it is used.
Frozen Fish Can Be Stored Indefinitely
According to the USDA, frozen foods will keep indefinitely if stored in an airtight package at a constant temperature at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing fish does not decrease its nutritional value. Freezer burn may dry the fish out in spots, but it is still safe to eat.
I see no-one has bothered to listen to the posting guidelines in terms of answering the question. No don't eat it. It is way past food safety recommendations. If you were a restaurant, cafe or any food outlet the maximum "use by" for all products that are frozen is 6 months. There are reasons for this, the cell walls get damaged and freezer burn sets in where a certain dryness affects the quality of the food so even though it may not kill you the quality would probably have deteriorated. Bacteria lays dormant in a freezer so they wouldn't spoil like in a fridge or at room temperature but still be active once defrosted.
I hope this helps people. You should really stick a label on your frozen things to help keep track of the date