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Old 01-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
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Re-freezing raw turkey?

I was taught not to do this, so won't. But I was going to make spring rolls using ground turkey instead of pork. For some reason I couldn't do it, so just froze the turkey. Today we have the time to sit and work on them. The Vietnamese lady who taught me to make them used raw pork in them. But I'm going to have to make a lot of them and intended on freezing them. Then it occurred to me that I'd be re-freezing raw ground turkey (she taught me to make them raw, freeze them when rolled, and fry straight from the freezer). Just to be safe, I am going to cook the turkey, but it will make it harder to roll them. At this point it is just rhetorical, but is it really that unsafe to freeze raw meat twice? I mean, I often buy "fresh" chicken in stores that are obviously partially frozen, toss in the freezer, and no one has ever been sick from it. Just curious (I always err on the side of safety except that one exception).

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Old 01-08-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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I really prefer not to refreeze raw meats, especially poultry. I think if you kept it in the fridge or freezer as you're working on them, to keep the temp low and from creating bacteria, would be better. Is it already ground and frozen? Or whole? The grinding process adds heat to the product and leaves more room for bacteria to be introduced. Ground meats are the highest potentially hazardous meat, but bacteria is killed when frozen. So, you'd have less concern if it's already ground. I always cook the meat and vegetables I'm using in eggrolls and strain/press to remove liquid which makes them easier to assemble.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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Refreezing isn't so much an issue of safety as it is of texture.

Assume you had some fresh turkey (or any other meat). Assume it's OK in the fridge for four days. You keep it in the fridge for a day then freeze it. Sometime later you defrost it in the refrigerator and use it within a day to make spring rolls, which you freeze raw.

Again assuming the turkey was not left at room temperature for an extended period, you could safely refreeze it. The keys in this are proper refrigeration at all times and not exceeding the four days.

What happens is that every time you freeze and thaw meat, some of the cell walls are broken by the expansion of the water in the cells and ice crystals damage the meat. All this doesn't make it unsafe. It changes the texture.

Where you are using ground or finely chopped meat, teture is unlikely to be an issue.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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I agree with Andy. It's a bigger deal with vegis or fruit and texture. I believe it was Colonel Birdseye who made all the noise about refreezing and safety back in the '50s/'60s. He wanted his frozen vegis to have proper texture and he knew people would more likely listen about safety.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:02 AM   #5
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True on all accounts...just doesn't have the right consistency/flavor when it's pre-frozen.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
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Smile Freezing does not kill salmonella

Quote:
Originally Posted by Souzy sous View Post
I really prefer not to refreeze raw meats, especially poultry. I think if you kept it in the fridge or freezer as you're working on them, to keep the temp low and from creating bacteria, would be better. Is it already ground and frozen? Or whole? The grinding process adds heat to the product and leaves more room for bacteria to be introduced. Ground meats are the highest potentially hazardous meat, but bacteria is killed when frozen. So, you'd have less concern if it's already ground. I always cook the meat and vegetables I'm using in eggrolls and strain/press to remove liquid which makes them easier to assemble.
I just wanted to point out that salmonella is not killed by freezing. It stops the bacteria from growing but once thawed it rears its ugly little head. Make sure you cook the turkey to 165F to kill the bacteria.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recipedirect View Post
I just wanted to point out that salmonella is not killed by freezing. It stops the bacteria from growing but once thawed it rears its ugly little head. Make sure you cook the turkey to 165F to kill the bacteria.
Good to point out!

Personally I am more concerned about chucking rock hard frozen raw pork in a fryer.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recipedirect

I just wanted to point out that salmonella is not killed by freezing. It stops the bacteria from growing but once thawed it rears its ugly little head. Make sure you cook the turkey to 165F to kill the bacteria.
Thanks for pointing that out and clarifying....
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recipedirect View Post
I just wanted to point out that salmonella is not killed by freezing. It stops the bacteria from growing but once thawed it rears its ugly little head. Make sure you cook the turkey to 165F to kill the bacteria.

This is true. it's a primary reason there are rules for food handling, such as limiting the number of days poultry is kept in a fridge. It's the accumulated time at refrigerator or room temp that grows salmonella, not freezing and refreezing. That time in the fridge is when Sal can grow. As long as the accumulated time under refrigeration is less than the limit, danger isn't an issue.

As you mentioned, cooking the poultry properly eliminates the issue.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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I do not believe that Salmonella has significant growth potential under proper refrigeration. Properly cooking poultry eliminates the concerns over Salmonella so that is always the key to safety.
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