Freezing is a convenient way of storing and preserving your food. When you don’t have time to visit the grocery more often, you tend to buy food items that you can freeze for a period of time until you decide to cook it.
No matter how much you’ve planned for your meals, something can go unexpectedly, like pulling out something from the fridge, letting it thaw and forgetting all about it. You then decide to refreeze it so as not to waste food. But is it safe to do so?
The best you can do is to use or cook what’s been thawed.
But what if you didn’t have the time to cook it? Or you simply forgot that you have put frozen items out to be thawed? Taking into consideration the safety concerns and quality of the frozen and thawed food, here are five things you shouldn’t refreeze.
1. Raw Proteins
Meat. seafood and poultry are common food items that are stored in the freezer. If they are allowed to thaw and placed in an environment with a temperature of less than 42 degrees F, it’s still safe to put them back in the freezer. If, however, they were allowed to stand on the kitchen counter to thaw and they smell off, it’s better to discard them.
Keep in mind that seafood are frozen when they arrive at the grocery store. They are then defrosted so they can be placed in the display case. That means they have been frozen and defrosted and you should cook them once you get home.
2. Juice Concentrates
Fruit-based products should be consumed fresh as fermentation occurs rather rapidly. This also applies to blended smoothies – they shouldn’t be put back into the freezer once frozen then thawed.
3. Cooked proteins
Freezing leftover cooked proteins like roast chicken or pork is a great idea to save them for a different recipe later on. However, if you’ve let some thaw outside your fridge and forgot about it, use it immediately. Come up with a brilliant recipe like a chicken quesadilla or chicken wrap because they shouldn’t be stuffed back into the freezer.
4. Ice Cream
You may have experienced this scenario before: leaving a tub of ice cream out to make it soft enough for you to scoop. But then, you completely forgot about it.
What a waste to throw it out but that’s what you need to do, unless you will drink it as a milkshake. Otherwise, putting it back in the freezer will only make ice cream have this icy texture.
5. Cooked Combination Meals
Stews, pot pies, casseroles and pastas should not be refrozen once thawed. Either you will eat it up or bring it to work so it won’t go to waste.
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