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Old 09-01-2007, 06:08 PM   #11
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The reason re-freezing is fround upon is that it takes time for meat to thaw. As it warms, the micro-organizms in the meat begin to multiply. When the meat is again frozen, those same micro critters go into hibernation. When you thaw the meat again, they multiply even more.

That being said, if the meat has been thawed in a moisture and temperature controlled environment, the bacterial multiplication will be elliminated, or at least retarded. And the bad micro-organizms won't have a chance to grow at all below 40 degrees F. This meat can be re-frozen and then thawed again.

The reason the USDA recomends thawing in the fridge, or in water is that when you thaw the meat in the fridge, the proper, maximum-safe temperature is is never exceeded, again inhibiting the growth of little nasties. When you thaw in water, teh water is a much better conductor of heat than is air, and so thaws the meat much more quickly, again, keeping the multiplying critters down. You can also thaw in a microwave, but have to be very careful as it is easy to start cooking the meat, or overheating part of it while other parts remain frozen.

So, with proper planning, it is best to thaw in the fridge, followed by thawing in water. Again, small portions can be thawed on the counter-top without adverse effects as the meat thaws quickly enough to limit the multiplication of little nasties.

As with all things, use your best judgement.

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Old 09-01-2007, 11:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine View Post
Oh, and as far as seat belts go, my first 7 or 8 cars didn't even come with seat belts. Not wearing a seat belt only became unhealthy recently.
Ever notice that people riding motorcycles aren't required to wear seatbelts?

Sure, it doesn't make sense to wear a seatbelt on a bike......but it is your CHOICE to ride a bike....why is it a LAW to wear a belt in a car? And of course, there are the old school buses without seatbelts......
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:59 PM   #13
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Vera is right about this. I don't recommend that anyone defrost on the counter.

I've just done it so long (and been lucky, I guess), that it's a habit for me. I have always been careful about it, though, making sure to put it in the fridge while it still has a few ice crystals in it.

As for re-freezing the meat...I've always been told that was a no-no. But since I found out that a lot of the meats, that I have bought for years, were pre-frozen, and I went ahead and tossed them in the freezer with no ill effects, I haven't been quite so adamant about it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:44 AM   #14
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As for re-freezing the meat...I've always been told that was a no-no. But since I found out that a lot of the meats, that I have bought for years, were pre-frozen, and I went ahead and tossed them in the freezer with no ill effects, I haven't been quite so adamant about it.
I agree. My understanding is that most meat is previously frozen when it reaches the store. IF this is true, then we shouldn't freeze anything! I don't see any problem with refreezing unless you know that the meat may have gotten too warm at some point. I'm sure there are regulations at the store for the temps they have to keep the meat at. I keep a cooler in my truck so that I can transport it home and keep it cold, so I'm not too worried about it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:40 AM   #15
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My ribs were defrosted in post #9. I never have defrosted on the counter, but was more concerned when I later noticed the butcher paper marked prefozen. As I mentioned later, I noticed a piece of saran-like plastic. So... I don't know if the meat was defrosted & rewrapped by the warehouse/store. I never planned on refreezing the ribs. I do use common sense. In any event, they turned out fine and are long gone by now.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:46 AM   #16
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Refreezing meat is fine. From the USDA’s web site concerning Freezing and Food Safety:

Refreezing
Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion.

If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly.

So, according to the USDA, you can take a frozen meat, thaw it in the fridge, then refreeze it (without cooking it) with no problem except a possible loss in quality. You can also re-freeze previously frozen meat from the store if it has been handled properly (obviously, thawed in a refrigerated unit).
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keltin View Post
Refreezing meat is fine. From the USDA’s web site concerning Freezing and Food Safety:

Refreezing
Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion.

If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly.

So, according to the USDA, you can take a frozen meat, thaw it in the fridge, then refreeze it (without cooking it) with no problem except a possible loss in quality. You can also re-freeze previously frozen meat from the store if it has been handled properly (obviously, thawed in a refrigerated unit).
The problem I see with posting something like this is that more often than not, people will only read the bold print. Or...they figure if refrigerator thawing is okay for refreezing, counter thawing (which horrifies me) will only be a little bad. Or, the time something sits, defrosted in the fridge, won't be considered. I would never trust something that was thawed in the fridge, sat around for a couple of days in the fridge, and then refrozen. Microorganisms are not destroyed at 40 degrees.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:17 PM   #18
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The problem I see with posting something like this is that more often than not, people will only read the bold print. Or...they figure if refrigerator thawing is okay for refreezing, counter thawing (which horrifies me) will only be a little bad. Or, the time something sits, defrosted in the fridge, won't be considered. I would never trust something that was thawed in the fridge, sat around for a couple of days in the fridge, and then refrozen. Microorganisms are not destroyed at 40 degrees.
Okay, this is going in several directions. I didn't refreeze - nor let the food sit defrosting in the fridge for several days. I do trust food defrosting in the fridge, but not for long periods of time, but that was not the question. Good advice for people that don't already know that.

Keltin, appreciate the info, as I've never bought anything marked prefrozen & don't know what the guidelines/laws are re reselling prefozen meat/food. Had I noticed that paper stamp on butcher paper, I may have sent it back. Anywho, it's a done deal - the ship has sailed. The ribs defrosted on the counter for a few hours in a climate controlled cool environment - a/c automatic. Vera, your idea of removing the condiments in the fridge and letting it thaw there is a good idea (as my fridge was full). Wish I'd thought of it at the time.

ETA: The previous generation defrosted meat/food on the counter & we/I survived - but it is not a practice that I follow. BTW, has anyone watched Mad Men? Makes you stop & think about all the rules/regulations/laws that came into place over time.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:58 PM   #19
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Amy, I wasn't really replying to your practice/method that you mentioned. I was responding to Keltin, as you could see by my quote.

As for what people did in previous generations.....food was handled much less 'back then'. For the most part, it went from the slaughter house to the butcher to your table. There are many more steps involved in feeding society now, and with those additional steps are more introductions of pathogens. Also, people did get sick, ever wonder what all those potions and elixers were for? People complained of stomach maladys all the time.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Also, people did get sick, ever wonder what all those potions and elixers were for? People complained of stomach maladys all the time.
Yep Uncle Bob's Magic potion and elixer cured many maladys! Not the least of which was an upset stomach. At 140 proof there was not much it wouln't cure!
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