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Old 08-10-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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Question Hm, refreeze?

My mom freaked out on me when I told her I defrosted my meat, wrapped it up and refroze it. She told me it was unhealthy but couldn't explain why...

So why is this a big deal? When you put it back in the freezer then cook it later, don't you kill the germs either by a) freezing it or b) cooking it?

And what do I do now with the 5 lbs. of hamburger I have that was meant for more than one meal (There's only 2 of us! We can't eat all that today.)

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Old 08-10-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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Sorry but freezing does NOT kill germs. It only stops them growing until you bring the food out and thaw it and then they continue growing where they left off. Refrigerating food "slows down" the growth, the colder the better.

It's a safety issue that once food is thawed from a frozen state it should be cooked -- to kill the bacteria -- after which it could be frozen again.

As for having 5 lbs of hamburger, I portion it out to serving size amounts, usually in FoodSaver vacuum sealed bags, and then freeze. If the ground beef is cooked, the same procedure is followed.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:33 AM   #3
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Well, I'll probably get jumped on, but this is what I was taught.
The problem is when folks defrost meat and then leave it in the fridge for a couple of days, and then slap it back in the freezer. Now you've got a problem.
You can refreeze meat if you don't delay. Anyway, that's what my Meat Cutter darling daddy said.
Many things we buy at the grocery will say "previously frozen" the trouble is, we don't know how long it's been defrosted and just refrigerated. No, I would not refreeze something that says it's been previously frozen.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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Bin it! Refrozen meat is utterly dangerous.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:43 AM   #5
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I personally would never refreeze anything from the market that states on the package "previously frozen" without cooking it first, especially seafood. That package warning is there for a purpose.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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I know meat texture suffers from freezing, thawing, refreezing. Freezing creates ice crystals that damage the meat's cell structure. By refreezing, you could end up with meat that has a less than desirable texture.

I don't agree that refreezing uncooked meat is automatically dangerous. If you buy a fresh cut of meat and freeze it, the thaw it in the fridge and change your mind, I see no reason not to refreeze it for safety reasons.

That being said, I'm not talking about a situation where you kept fresh meat in the fridge for a week, froze it, thawed it, kept it in the fridge for 3-4 days then refroze it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:27 PM   #7
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I agree with Andy. Quality will suffer perhaps and quality may suffer even more in ground meat because there is more exposed surface area and less density.

However, there is no food safety issue. Whatever state of bacterial growth there was when you thawed it, or brought it home from a previously frozen state, will be the same when you re-thaw it some time later. If it is acceptable, safety wise, to eat in the thawed state, then freezing and re-thawing it will not change that.

Of course, all meat should be cooked as soon as possible after thawing or re-thawing. As long as you are confident that the product has not been stored inside the danger zone for more than 2 hours, it should be safe to cook.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:39 PM   #8
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Thank you all! I'm just gonna cook it all & freeze it right after. :) Sound good?
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
The U. S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) advises, "Meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing." (Basics for Handling Food Safely, September 8, 2006).
(DO NOT thaw meat at room temperature, such as on the kitchen counter.)
Meat/poultry that is refrozen might suffer some quality loss as moisture may be lost during thawing.
Safety will depend on whether the raw product was handled properly before it was frozen, refrozen shortly after it was thawed, cooked to a safe temperature when it is eaten and handled safely if there are any leftovers.
For more information on handling cooking meat and poultry safely, check these USDA links:

But, always remember the standard food safety advice is "When in doubt, throw it out."
-----http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciq-refreeze.shtml
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:28 AM   #10
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Yeah not only is it extremely dangerous for your health, but it really ruins the texture of the meat. All that freezing and refreezing is horrible for all those muscle fibers in the meat. The best way to defrost meat is to put your frozen meat in a plastic food storage bag, seal out all the air, fill up your sink with cold water, and put the meat in the water bath. BUT LEAVE YOUR SINK RUNNING ON LOW! This will provide the fastest defrosting time, about 30-45 mins, and it will do the least damage to the product.
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