Can you refreeze thawed meat?

Dinner plans changed?

“As long as you’ve thawed raw meat, poultry, or seafood in the refrigerator, you can refreeze it,” explains Maribel Alonso, a technical information specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(If you’re short on time, you can put frozen meat in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge it in cold water on your counter, replacing the water every 30 minutes. But unlike meat thawed in the fridge, you’ll need to cook it immediately.)

And any cooked meat can be refrozen.

The catch: Raw meat that has been refrozen won’t taste as good.

“When the meat is thawed, you lose moisture,” says Alonso. “Add another freeze-thaw cycle, and the consistency and tenderness of the meat will change.”

Bottom Line: It’s safe to refreeze raw meat that was thawed in the fridge.

Photo: Andrey Armyagov/

The information in this post first appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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