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Can you refreeze meat? Yes.

February 12th, 2020

It’s been a huge misconception among misinformed people that you can’t refreeze raw meat after you have thawed it once. I can’t tell you how many times I get this question or I hear someone mention it in our store. Therefore, no need to be alarmed you are not going to get hurt from refreezing that meat you didn’t have time to cook. AND HERE COMES THE BIG-BUT…that being said you need to look deeper into this argument to really understand where it comes from and how it even got started.

Why do people think you can not refreeze meat? What is their argument?

The idea is that when you thaw meat, bacteria starts to grow, then if you freeze it again, it will have even more bacteria when it thaws the 2nd time.

Now, this could be a valid argument if you let whatever you are thawing set out for a couple days then try to refreeze it while it’s starting to turn green....but if you PROPERLY thaw meat you can surely refreeze it without this being an issue.

How do you not properly thaw meat?

If you let meat thaw on the counter or somewhere that it can reach temperatures between 40-140 degrees F that is considered NOT PROPER. This is because temperatures in this range are considered the “Danger Zone”- where bacteria grows/ multiplies rapidly. Keep in mind that if you are planning to fully cook whatever you have thawed the cooking process will kill these bacteria and it’s still fine to eat but refreezing is where the issue is raised.

How do you properly thaw meat in a way that is re-freezable?

Thawing food is best planned ahead and somewhere that the temperature is constant (40 degrees F or below) – hey that sounds like a refrigerator! Yes, best method refrigerator thawing- 

Ground Beef RecipeGround meat, stew meat, poultry, seafood, should stay good for about 2 days, while red meat cuts (such as beef, pork or lamb roasts, chops and steaks) 3 to 5 days after thawing.

Now there are other ways to thaw food properly such as cold water thawing, microwave thawing, or cooking without thawing but these methods should be fully cooked before re-freezing. If you only want to cut a portion of that tenderloin and save the rest just thaw it enough to where you can still cut through it with a knife but not to the point of fully thawed and pop it back in the freezer- no problem!   

Lastly, fresh is best so back and forth between the freezer and refrigerator may cause some lack of quality and cell breakdown but remember nothing deadly. oxidation and your meat turning brown is normal but your meat being excessively slimy/sticky to the touch is not normal (trash it!)

And if you are still skeptical...nature gave you a nose for a reason- use it! If it smells bad it probably is bad :/

If you have questions or concerns feel free to contact me or refer to the USDA website.


Store Hours

Monday—Friday: 9:00am—5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am—1:00pm
Closed Sunday and for all Federal Holidays

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The Croghan Meat Market, Inc. is a specialty meat processing plant and retail store located in Croghan, New York. The plant operates to create traditional, quality meats for conscious consumers who take pride in their meats and eats. Under daily federal processing supervision and guidelines issued by USDA regarding product production and safety, the plant is owned and operated by generational meat cutters and owners who are always crafting the finest product for consumers. Our retail store operates out of the same building on Main Street in Croghan and is the same location that has produced world famous Croghan Bologna and Croghan Smoked Breakfast Sausage since 1888.

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