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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Willard Kerr is asking: (1 answer)
I often thaw bulk food like poultry,meat, pasta and fish. What are the guideline rules for refreezing any thing that has been thawed?

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Last updated: Dec. 30, 2012 11:01 am
Posted: Dec. 28, 2012 7:11 am
Answered by: janet7th
Dec. 28, 2012 7:18 am
If your food has been handled safely (avoiding the danger zone 40° - 140°), then there won't be food safety issues with refreezing but the taste and texture may be compromised. It would be better to package the food in smaller portions before freezing so you can thaw only what is needed.
Dec. 28, 2012 7:31 am
I've done this too because of running out of cooking time, days in a row (almost always chix breasts). Have wanted to put back in freezer a 2nd time occasionally but didn't. Is a 2nd freeze maybe but not necessarily dangerous? I wouldn't care abt compromised taste etc.
Dec. 28, 2012 8:14 am
If it's been thawed, it must be fully cooked before freezing again. You can't thaw raw or cooked meats & then refreeze them. When originally putting into the freezer, divide your bulk into smaller portions & then freeze, taking out only the amount you need.
Dec. 28, 2012 8:25 am
I think the USDA guideline depends on the method: microwave thaw-cook immediately, cold water thaw- cook before refreezing, and refrigerator thaw-safe to refreeze raw *if handled properly*
PAMELA D. aPROpos of nothing
Dec. 28, 2012 8:43 am
Safely thawed you can refreeze. However, freezing does not kill bacteria or toxins that are produced. Repeated thaw and freeze cycles allow the possibility of bacterial growth, even if done safely. When foods freeze ice crystals are formed in the food. Repeated freezing cycles will compromise the texture of the meat due to these ice crystals making tiny cuts in the meat. More delicate to begin with, like fish, more likely to have compromised texture. I once bought frozen salmon. Defrosted and cooked. It was just short of mushy and inedible to me. I suspect it went thru several freeze and thaw cycles.
Dec. 30, 2012 11:01 am
The best general rule is to never re-freeze raw meat. That is easy to remember and while their are acceptable alternatives, this is simple to remember, especially for someone who is new to cooking. Some meats are more delicate than others and don't repsond well to re-freezing, so from that standpoint, it depends on the particular type of meat.
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