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  #1  
Old 12-29-2006, 07:16 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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Is it safe to eat meat that has defrosted and then refrozen?

Wind storms knocked out the power in my house for about 26 hours yesterday. I had some frozen food in my freezer (Trader Joe's frozen dinners and some steaks) that must have completely defrosted but stayed cool and have since refrozen.

A friend told me that these are no longer safe to eat. I find that hard to believe but better safe than sorry.

Is this true?
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2006, 07:23 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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They probably didn't completely defrost, especially if you kept the door closed while the power was out. Modern refrigerators and freezers are quite well insulated. As long as the internal temperature of the meat didn't get above about 40 F, it should be fine to eat, although the texture might suffer a little from being defrosted and refrozen. Thorough cooking should kill any buggers which managed to grow, in any case. You really would only need to worry if the meat was out at room temp for a long time, since the toxic byproducts of certain bacterial respiration are not destroyed by cooking and can make you sick, e.g., botulism.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:33 PM
clayton_e clayton_e is offline
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Also means the well meaning old wives' tale that any defrosting then refreezing will kill ya. Defrosting meat in the fridge then forming it into, say, patties then refreezing is fine. I saw a friend hacking at a giant chunk of frozen meat to get the right amount for the next night's meal and had to explain this.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:34 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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I figured that his advice was conflated with something. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2006, 08:45 PM
clayton_e clayton_e is offline
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...will kill ya is wrong.

Will preview in the future..
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:42 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is online now
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I completely agree with Q.E.D. It is perfectly safe to defrost and refreeze if the defrosting did not take place at room temps. Frozen meats in a freezer for 26 hours should be fine. What is the normal temperature of your freezer? If it's about 10oF, as it should be, then you're fine.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:03 PM
JeffB JeffB is offline
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Staff report by Una: Why is refreezing food bad? What exactly is freezer burn?.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2006, 02:14 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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During the great Quebec ice storm of '98, our house was without power for a week. Our freezer warmed up as our house cooled down. When we finally got power back, there were about 20 lb of meat that had thawed, but were still at refrigerator temperature (like the house). We made a giant stew making sure the meat cooked for hours. Perfectly safe and, if some flavor was gone, we didn't notice it. Of course, once it had cooked we froze a lot of it and ate it during the rest of the winter.

The point is that cooking will destory and bacteria such as salmonella and toxins such as botulism toxin so it is safe.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:52 PM
Jake Jake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon
During the great Quebec ice storm of '98, our house was without power for a week. Our freezer warmed up as our house cooled down. When we finally got power back, there were about 20 lb of meat that had thawed, but were still at refrigerator temperature (like the house). We made a giant stew making sure the meat cooked for hours. Perfectly safe and, if some flavor was gone, we didn't notice it. Of course, once it had cooked we froze a lot of it and ate it during the rest of the winter.

The point is that cooking will destory and bacteria such as salmonella and toxins such as botulism toxin so it is safe.
Posted by Hari Seldon
"Since the toxic byproducts of certain bacterial respiration are not destroyed by cooking and can make you sick, e.g., botulism."

So, does cooking destroy botulism or not?
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2006, 03:09 PM
Zjestika Zjestika is offline
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I was under the impression that it wasn't safe, but I did some internet research a while back and the only conclusive thing I could come up with is that one shouldn't eat cooked then frozen then thawed then refrozen food.

Okay, this is a little tangential, but how soon should meat be eaten after thawed? I froze some hamburger on it's use-by date, then took it out (to the fridge) two days ago. I wanted to eat it that day or yesterday but didn't. Can I eat it today (barring ick smell)?
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  #11  
Old 12-30-2006, 07:31 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake
Posted by Hari Seldon
"Since the toxic byproducts of certain bacterial respiration are not destroyed by cooking and can make you sick, e.g., botulism."

So, does cooking destroy botulism or not?
Sorry, cooking (I think for at least 10 minutes) does destroy botulism toxin. So don't put your botoxed cheeks in the oven for 10 minutes.
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