Is it Safe to Re-Freeze Thawed Meat?

It still should be safe to eat Angela. The only way it would be unsafe to eat is if the sirloin steak set out at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. If it was just for a few hours or up to 24 hours, it will be safe.

It might taste a little bit tougher or bland after you cook it, but it shouldn't taste too bad.

Emergency care

When you know or suspect that power will be off in your house, set the freezer control to between -10 degrees F and -20 degrees F immediately. The colder the freezer and foods, the longer foods stay frozen.

Do not open the freezer if power fails or a mechanical failure occurs. Opening the door will hasten thawing of foods. With the door closed, food will usually stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer about two days. Exactly how long food in a freezer will stay frozen depends on:


Cover the freezer with blankets to help hold in the cold. Pin the blanket away from the air vent openings because air will be needed to keep the motor from overheating when the electricity comes back on.

If power will not be back on for several days, use dry ice to keep the temperature below freezing and to prevent spoilage of frozen foods. Dry ice may be available from a local dairy or freezer locker plant. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep the temperature of food in a full 20-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for three to four days and in a half full freezer for two or three days.

Place dry ice on boards or heavy cardboard on top of the packages, and do not open the freezer unless necessary. Do not handle dry ice with bare hands because it can cause burns. When using dry ice, the room should be well ventilated.

Locate a commercial freezer locker plant and move foods there in insulated boxes if you cannot get dry ice or if the freezer will be out of commission for more than three to four days.

It is always a good idea to be prepared for emergencies before they occur. Locate a source of dry ice and a freezer locker plant in your community before a freezer failure occurs.


In general, food can safely be refrozen only if it still contains ice crystals or if it has been at refrigerator temperature (40 degrees F) for no longer than two days. In addition, use the following guidelines


Note: Defrosted low-acid foods such as vegetables, seafood, meat, poultry and pre-cooked dishes may spoil without having a distinct odor. If refrozen and cooked, they could be dangerous. Do not try to save these foods.

Refreeze partially thawed foods quickly by setting the temperature control of your freezer to the coldest position. More care should be taken with foods that have partially thawed and been refrozen because they deteriorate faster. Label containers as "Refrozen" and use as soon as possible.

How much freezer space will you need?

 One cubic foot of freezer space will hold approximately
30 lbs. to 32 lbs. of meat


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Last Updated:  Monday, November 21, 2011 07:01 PM