Refreezing thawed meat?

Here’s something that been bugging me for while. A house-mate of mine once said that you cannot, ever, refreeze thawed meat. Even if it has not been taken out of the sealed and airtight package. I don’t get it. While I suppose that there might be an issue with bacterial growth during that brief time that it has been warmed up, how is this different from it sitting in the grocer’s fridge for a day or two. I don’t think it can make a huge difference. Anyone ever hear this or care to comment?

If it has been thawed at room temperature, then bacterial growth may well have got going on the thawed surface while the inside was still thawing, if it was thawed in a refrigerator at, say, 4C then bacterial growth should not be the main problem, however, repeated freezing and thawing can cause ‘freezer burn’ - dehydration and denaturing of proteins, it may also cause problems with the texture of the meat internally (each time you freeze/thaw, ice collects together in crystals within the meat, then runs out when thawed), making it stringy or spongy.

I agree with Mangetout, and further add that health regulations for commercial food businesses prohibit thawing at room temperature or in standing water, much less refreezing meat thawed in such a way.

Unless after you thaw it, you cook it. Then you can freeze it one more time. Better safe than sorry; when in doubt, throw it out. If you ever have, or know anyone who has, food poisoning, you will know why and will rather waste any amount of meat than go through that.