The Rule Against Refreezing is a Myth

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Refreeze foodsFrom The New York Times:

The notion that you cannot refreeze thawed foods “is a myth,” said Tina Hanes, a registered dietitian with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.  Any raw or cooked food that has been thawed can be refrozen.

There’s an important caveat, though:

As long as it was thawed properly — in the refrigerator, not on the counter — and hasn’t spoiled. That includes raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood, Ms. Hanes said.

You should never thaw frozen meat, poultry, fish or seafood by placing it on the counter at room temperature or by running it under warm tap water, she said, “because bacteria like it warm, like we do, and multiply rapidly at room temperature. Thawing on the counter is not safe, period. You should never do that.”

I think a lot of people thaw frozen food on the kitchen counter.  It’s a no no.

In a 2013 household germ study, NSF International found salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold hidden in blender gaskets.

In a 2013 household germ study, NSF International found salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold hidden in blender gaskets

Home kitchens are notoriously full of germs and bacteria.  Much more so than commercial kitchens, or even home bathrooms.   NSF International, a nonprofit organization based in Ann Arbor, Mich., that has been promoting proper cleaning of kitchen tools and appliances since the 1940s.  NSF International recently put out recommendations on kitchen hot spots based on studies done in 2011 and again in 2013:

  • Scary sponges
  • Ghastly gaskets
  • Creepy fridge compartments
  • Separate the spatulas and clean the can opener
  • Wash water dispensers and coffee reservoirs

Cleaning a few often-overlooked areas in the kitchen can offer additional protection from E. coli, salmonella, listeria, yeast and mold.

Further Reading:

 

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One comment

  • What about defrosting a large portion via microwave and then immediately refreezing after you’ve divided it? I have to admit I am guilty of that even when I thought refreezing was bad 🙁

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