How can you safely thaw and refreeze food?

Share this article with other moms

Can we really thaw and refreeze our leftovers?

Plenty of parents cook in big batches and freeze what they can’t finish to eat at a later date—it saves plenty of time and is super convenient as well. But once you’ve thawed out a once-frozen meal, can you refreeze it again?

Food editor Rick Martinez and chef instructor Rick Martinez tells Huffington Post that you can keep refreezing and re-thawing food. But there’s a caveat—you can thaw and refreeze food, but you probably shouldn’t.

thaw and refreeze

Photo: US Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Why not? There are two main reasons:

1. Thawing and re-freezing makes your food mushy

This is because the water in your food expands during freezing and changes the consistency of your food. You can probably get away with refreezing soup as it’s mostly water, but with meats and other dishes, you’re probably going to end up with a sloppy, pathetic mess.

2. Thawing and re-freezing introduces bacteria

Freezing does stop bacteria from growing, but it doesn’t kill bacteria that’s already there. And when we thaw our food, we introduce more bacteria.

But sometimes, we do need to refreeze food, just so we don’t waste anything. You might get away with it if you do it the right way.

Go to the next page to find out how to properly thaw and freeze your food.

Housekeeping Lifestyle Housekeeping tips