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refreeze or toss?
Posted by: wurm
Date: June 10, 2012 10:36AM
We had a beautiful day for a graduation party for my son yesterday (BSEE), and in spite of everyone eating his or her fill, we have leftover food. Lots of it. I'm less concerned about the side dishes and appetizers. But even after planning a week's worth of meals, we couldn't eat all this main course stuff before it would go bad. So here's what we have left and I look to the collective wisdom of the forum to help decide the best way to deal with it.

• Chicken breast: Bought fresh Wednesday, frozen until Friday, thawed and marinated overnight Friday. I don't think it's safe to refreeze as is, so will probably cook it up and then use it in salads or refreeze after it's cooked. Or?

• Hamburger patties: Bought fresh Wednesday, frozen until Friday, then thawed for yesterday. Think they're okay to refreeze?

• Hot dogs. 2 packages unopened. Toss in freezer in the sealed package or toss out?

Thanks.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: June 10, 2012 10:50AM
You can freeze and thaw things more than once.

The important thing is that the temperature stays below 41degrees. This is why it's best to defrost foods in the refrigerator. You can also defrost foods rapidly under running water, but if you do this, you cannot refreeze the food since it's temperature will have gone above 41 degrees.

The food danger zone, which is where bacteria reproduce rapidly, is between 41-135 degrees.

Link to Wikipedia using tiny url since the forum software kills the trailing )

[tinyurl.com]
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: hal
Date: June 10, 2012 11:04AM
take what you can't use to the nearest homeless shelter - they will be grateful.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: June 10, 2012 11:38AM
Invite friends over and grill all of it at once.

Or just stick it back in the freezer.



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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: clay
Date: June 10, 2012 12:30PM
There's nothing wrong with any of that---refreeze would get my vote



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2012 12:31PM by clay.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 10, 2012 12:36PM
I wouldn't be afraid of it, although when I recooked it, I would eat a small bite and wait a few minutes before I ate the rest. One reason some labels say "do not refreeze" is because the consistency will be changed and it will feel weird in your mouth.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: colonel panic
Date: June 10, 2012 01:00PM
From the The Straight Dope:

Refreezing is bad for three reasons. First, by refreezing food you multiply the damage to it--any cells that escaped rupture the first time the food was frozen are at risk of being ruptured the second time. Second, when food has been frozen and thawed out, it has larger pockets of liquid within it than the first time due to the ruptured cells. When the food is refrozen, the larger pockets of liquid can freeze into much larger ice crystals, which can tear through many more cell membranes and lead to more damage to the food. (The best way to avoid cell damage, incidentally, is flash-freezing, which produces smaller ice crystals, minimal cell damage, and maximum freshness.)

The third and most important reason not to refreeze is increased risk of spoilage due to microorganisms. Many people thaw food by letting it sit at room temperature for several hours, giving the microorganisms in it time to get busy and partially spoil the food before it's refrozen. The problem is particularly pronounced in large pieces of meat such as a turkey, some parts of which may be at or near room temperature for hours during thawing. That's why turkeys should be thawed in a sink filled with water--the water equalizes the temperature and makes for faster thawing. Alternatively, you can thaw in the refrigerator, which is slower but retards spoilage by keeping the meat cool. Even so you're likely to have some multiplication of microorganisms. If you refreeze and rethaw, you've subjected the food to double the microorganism growth and double the fun.




"They don't call me Colonel because I'm some dumb a$$ army guy" Colonel Homer J. Simpson
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: June 10, 2012 02:20PM
No dog ?



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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: wurm
Date: June 10, 2012 02:29PM
Thanks, everyone.

It won’t be as bad as I first thought. There weren't as many burgers as I thought, so we're going to cook it up for tacos. I'm going to grill up all the chicken now, and we'll use it in salads during the week and maybe pack up the rest in ZipLoc bags and toss in the freezer once cooked and cooled. I'm guessing the hot dogs in sealed packages will be okay just going back in the freezer. But if I had to throw them out, it wouldn’t bother me.

'fil, the dog would love the leftovers (and will surely get some), but there's too much even for her to eat at once.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: GGD
Date: June 10, 2012 04:03PM
Just put it out in the MRF break room, we'll take care of it.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 11, 2012 12:23PM
......I hear that.....BREAK me off a piece of that.....!!!!



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: June 11, 2012 12:25PM
Quote
hal
take what you can't use to the nearest homeless shelter - they will be grateful.

Sadly, the couple of times I've been in groups that attempted to do that, we've been rebuffed for the reason that the shelter has no idea how the food was handled or stored.



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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 11, 2012 02:17PM
FROM SEINFELD:

Rebecca (from the homeless shelter): Are you the ones leaving the @#$%& pieces behind our shelter?

Elaine: You been enjoying them?

Rebecca: They're just stumps.

Elaine: Well they're perfectly edible.

Rebecca: Oh, so you just assume that the homeless will eat them, they'll eat anything?

Mr. Lippman: No no, we just thought...

Rebecca: I know what you thought. They don't have homes, they don't have jobs, what do they need the top of a muffin for? They're lucky to get the stumps.

Elaine: If the homeless don't like them the homeless don't have to eat them.

Rebecca: The homeless don't like them.

Elaine: Fine.

Rebecca: We've never gotten so many complaints. Every two minutes, "Where is the top of this muffin? Who ate the rest of this?"

Elaine: We were just trying to help.

Rebecca: Why don't you just drop off some chicken skins and lobster shells.
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Re: refreeze or toss?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 11, 2012 04:49PM
....have someone TOSS your salad.....??



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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