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Refreezing meat

 
 
JTT
 
Reply Wed 31 Aug, 2011 10:13 pm
Conventional wisdom seems to say that one shouldn't refreeze meat. What is the reason for that? Is it for health reasons or is it a matter of taste?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 2,124 • Replies: 7
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Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Wed 31 Aug, 2011 11:08 pm
@JTT,
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/focus_on_freezing/index.asp#14

Quote:
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 thawing. 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. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

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


http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/27/Freezing-Meats

Quote:
Thawing
There are a few safe methods of thawing meat, but only one way that allows you to refreeze the meat if you don't use it. Thawed meat inside the refrigerator is safe to be refrozen as long as the refrigerator maintains a temperature of 40°F or less.

1. Refrigerator - Takes a long time to thaw (one or two days for modest sized meats, 5 hours per pound for large meats like whole chicken or turkey). Results in an even thaw (same temperature throughout once it is done). Can be frozen after thawing.

2. Cold Water Bath - Place the meat in a leak proof bag and submerge in cold water until defrosted. Change the water every 30 minutes to an hour for the duration of the thaw. Cook the meat immediately. Do not refreeze.

3. Microwave Oven - Follow the directions provided with your microwave oven when defrosting. Meat usually comes out unevenly defrosted, so some parts may be warm (a prime breeding ground for microbes). Cook immediately. Do not refreeze.


For more stuff about the science of freezing food and how and what you can safely put in it, my go-to guy is:



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hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Wed 31 Aug, 2011 11:35 pm
@JTT,
My recollection is that it's largely about the quality/appearance of the food, which deteriorates substantially on each freezing. Apparently when frozen foods were first launched on consumers rather than have consumers blame freezing on the bad look they just said 'don't refreeze'.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Sep, 2011 05:37 am
@JTT,
When you buy "fresh" meat at the supermarket, it didn't get there in that state - it was frozen and they thawed it. If you didn't freeze (refreeze) it when you got home, you'd have to shop all the time. So yes, refreezing thawed meat is the norm.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Sep, 2011 08:54 am
Thanks to everyone for the input.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Sep, 2011 02:43 pm
@JTT,
Back in the lab, it was understood that there was protein breakdown that went along with the freeze-thaw cycles in regular refrigerator freezers. To keep a specimen at its best, we froze them at -70 degrees in room sized freezers built for the task, and this type of freezer (not inexpensive) did not go through freeze thaw cycles, keeping steady temp.

Me, I keep a lot of items in the freezer that tops my refrigerator. I package portions after I cook them, freeze, and remove them one at a time. I don't refreeze all that much.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Sep, 2011 03:20 pm
@JTT,
I have never re-frozen meat. Either I buy it frozen and keep it that way until I use it, or I buy it thawed/fresh and use it within the next 2 days.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Sep, 2011 04:41 pm
@CalamityJane,
I understand, CJ. I've gotten to a fairly ripe old age without having done the same.

But a situation arose that made me wonder, what is the rationale for this oft repeated idea.
0 Replies
 
 

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