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TOPIC: Refreezing ground beef

 
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April 6, 2013 7:28 PM
Would it be safe to thaw a package of ground beef, separate it into small portion sizes, then refreeze the portions? I know better now to do this BEFORE I freeze the meat, but this is an older one that I bought a few months ago, and I didn't think about that then.
  12800241
April 6, 2013 7:32 PM
I don't know if you're "supposed" to but I've done it so many times. Not just with ground meat either, I've done chicken, fish all kinds of stuff. I thaw frozen meat to use is lasagna. I always make more than 1 and freeze them for another time. That's the same thing too. Just do it. Also, you dont have to let it thaw 100% if you're not comfortable, just enough to get through it with a knife.
Edited by highervibes On April 6, 2013 7:32 PM
  39653770
April 6, 2013 7:34 PM
What I do I defost it just enough in the microwave to put a knife in it an break it apart.
  9299157
April 6, 2013 7:35 PM
Great, thanks for the responses! That's what I'll do--semi-defrost it.
  12800241
April 6, 2013 7:37 PM
I'm sure as long as you dont defrost with micro. I just portion it as soon as I get it from store because its not frozen yet.
  33460544
April 6, 2013 7:41 PM
You are not supposed to thaw meat and refreeze it. You may get away with it but its not recommended.

If anything I would do the semi defrost but not really because I am too paranoid.

ETA - in the case of the lasagne - it's ok if you thaw, cook and refreeze as you would for lasagne or other dishes but it is not advisable to thaw meat and refreeze raw.
Edited by 3dogsrunning On April 6, 2013 7:43 PM
April 6, 2013 7:43 PM
No. General rule of thumb is that you do not thaw meat and refreeze it
  21916824
April 6, 2013 7:44 PM
I wonder why you're not supposed to? I mean, lets say you freeze it right away (like most people do) and then thaw if for 24 hours, it's not like if you had never frozen it before you would have to pitch it in 24 hours. What is the 'danger' in thawing and re-freezing?
  39653770
April 6, 2013 7:44 PM
As long as you don't let it sit around getting warm, you will be fine. All you may loose is a bit of flavor. If you let it thaw enough to break it up and put it back, no harm.
April 6, 2013 7:55 PM
you can
April 6, 2013 7:57 PM
QUOTE:

I wonder why you're not supposed to? I mean, lets say you freeze it right away (like most people do) and then thaw if for 24 hours, it's not like if you had never frozen it before you would have to pitch it in 24 hours. What is the 'danger' in thawing and re-freezing?


The changes in temperature alter the meat's taste and texture. Also, when you thaw meat bacteria grows. If you refreeze that meat, you're essentially trapping the bacteria within. When you go to thaw it again a second time (in preparation to cook it), even more bacteria accumulates and adds to the already present level. All of a sudden...BAM! Foodborne illness. Of course that was an oversimplification, but you get the idea.
  21916824
April 6, 2013 8:00 PM
If I find a need to thaw and refreeze, I tend to go ahead and just brown it all and separate it into meal size portions at that point.
April 6, 2013 8:21 PM
If you like to play Food Poison Roulette, sure.

However, it is a MUCH better (and safer) idea to cook the meat after you thaw it. Then you can refreeze it safely.

Read up, MFPeeps: www.foodsafety.gov
April 6, 2013 8:24 PM
I have done it for years and years.. with meat, chicken, sausages..you name it... stores do it.. they sell stuff previously frozen..we buy it unfrozen and take it home to refreeze..
  27858849
April 6, 2013 8:25 PM
We buy it in Costco quantities, brown it and THEN freeze it in 1lb ziplocks.

It makes cooking meals so fast and easy. The only thing is, it won't last as long as if you freeze it raw. You need to use it within a month or two if you cook it before you freeze it.
  40617671
April 6, 2013 8:36 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I wonder why you're not supposed to? I mean, lets say you freeze it right away (like most people do) and then thaw if for 24 hours, it's not like if you had never frozen it before you would have to pitch it in 24 hours. What is the 'danger' in thawing and re-freezing?


The changes in temperature alter the meat's taste and texture. Also, when you thaw meat bacteria grows. If you refreeze that meat, you're essentially trapping the bacteria within. When you go to thaw it again a second time (in preparation to cook it), even more bacteria accumulates and adds to the already present level. All of a sudden...BAM! Foodborne illness. Of course that was an oversimplification, but you get the idea.


Wouldn't the bacteria be growing on the meat if you left it in the fridge for 2 days? I don't see how thawing it can cause any more bacteria than never having previously frozen it?
  39653770
April 6, 2013 8:42 PM
I did a two day food safe course a few years back. I was surprised to learn that as long as the food (meat included) was not fully defrosted it's safe to chop off what you need and then refreeze the remainder. In practice with ground beef this would mean the edges, leaving the solid centre to go back in the freezer.

I've done this ever since and we've never been sick.
Edited by Tubbs216 On April 6, 2013 8:43 PM
  38743646
April 7, 2013 1:36 AM
You shouldn't refreeze raw meat after it has already been defrosted. This will get you food poisoning.
What you can do is defrost it, cook it and then refreeze it.
Cooking it will destroy the bacteria, so it's fine to put it back in the freezer then.
  25369404
April 7, 2013 5:24 AM
The muscle (meat) of a carcass is pretty much sterile on the inside. When the carcass is processed, it is highly probable that the outside surface gets contaminated with various microbes - mostly of the fecal variety. Some of the microbes are potentially nasty, like E. coli and Salmonella. When you cut the meat off the bone and grind it up, you mix the surface contamination up within the body of the end product. A cool (refrigerator) or cold (freezer) environment slows or stops growth of the microbial contaminants. When you defrost the meat, you are warming it up, potentially to where the "nasties" can start growing/reproducing. As most of those bad microbes are fairly easily killed at cooking temperatures, the thawing and refreezing is not a huge deal - IF you cook the eventually thawed meat to very well done (like in a soup or casserole that is simmered for hours, but if there is any chance the meat will NOT get cooked through (like if you use it for hamburger patties and you don't always get them very well done), I would surely not be willing to take a risk.
A "meat saw" looks a lot like a "hack saw", so it might be possible to cut frozen chunks up that way. Alternatively, use the large packages for a large casserole and divvy up the end result for future convenience meals or just cook the meat and freeze the cooked meat in smaller packages for use in smaller sized dishes (lasagna, spaghetti, tacos, etc)
Edited by allshebe On April 7, 2013 5:25 AM
  38276202
April 7, 2013 9:29 AM
QUOTE:

ETA - in the case of the lasagne - it's ok if you thaw, cook and refreeze as you would for lasagne or other dishes but it is not advisable to thaw meat and refreeze raw.


Yep, I've changed my mind and I am going to cook and refreeze it. I found a really yummy recipe for ground beef, so I am going to make that, then portion it and freeze it. Problem solved! :)
  12800241
April 8, 2013 9:14 AM
yeah prob not a good idea IMO

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