Can defrosted meat be refrozen?

This is a common situation that can happen to all of us: we take out the frozen meat to eat during the meal, but for one reason or another, we end up not cooking it. Should we then throw it away or can we refreeze it to eat it later?

As everyone knows, freezing food is an effective system for inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, so that it can be stored under good conditions for weeks or even months. And this, without affecting the organoleptic properties, that is to say the taste, the aroma or the texture of the food. Indeed, most pathogens cannot multiply below 4°C.

Sometimes, certain circumstances of our hectic daily life delay the preparation of food fresh from the freezer. Too demanding a job, an unexpected visit from an old friend, an impromptu dinner outside… In this case, what to do with his thawed meat? Obviously, the simplest solution would be to put it back in the freezer to freeze it again. But, and many people already know, refreezing thawed food is a mistake. In fact, there are two risks: the microbial load increases and the nutrients are lost. When food is frozen, the growth of bacteria is slowed down, but the microorganisms multiply again once the food is thawed.

Defrosted more meat than necessary? Let’s find out together if refreezing it is a good idea or if it is, on the contrary, dangerous for your health.

Can you refreeze defrosted meat?

freeze meat

Freezing meat – Source: spm

The answer to this question is given by Lyudmila Minaeva, a researcher in a biosafety and analytical laboratory.

According to her, raw meat is a very favorable environment for the formation of microorganisms that do not die during the freezing process, but simply go into a state of hibernation. During the thawing process, they are then activated and their reproduction is suddenly accelerated. Biochemical changes begin and the meat spoils. It begins to rot: oxidative reactions accelerate and the amount of fat-soluble vitamins A and D is reduced.

Freezing and thawing meat multiple times can increase these biochemical changes. With the loss of meat juice, the content of soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B12) decreases. All this noticeably reduces the nutritional value of the product, which leads to undesirable changes in taste.

This is why the technical regulations relating to foodstuffs indicate that meat intended for food cannot be refrozen. Ideally, if you have thawed meat, it’s best to cook it immediately.

What happens if you eat re-frozen meat?


Meat – Source: spm

Therefore, it is better to be aware of the risks: by consuming re-frozen meat, you could contract a bacterial infection or a toxic infection with repercussions on the gastrointestinal system.

What happens if you refreeze defrosted meat?

thawed meat

Defrosted meat – Source: spm

Bacteria accumulate and begin to multiply once food is thawed. But if you refreeze them again, the microbes increase more. All this becomes very dangerous for health. Even if cooked, these refrozen foods can release toxins that resist the highest temperatures.

What happens if you eat frozen food twice?

Thawed food can only be refrozen if it has been previously cooked. It is essential to avoid placing a thawed product in the freezer without first cooking it. Indeed, there is a big risk that at each stage of freezing and thawing, the microbial load, present in food, increases massively.

Read also In which compartment should the meat be stored?

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