Author Options:

refreezing meat? Answered

If I thaw out frozen ground turkey and refreeze it is it still good?


You should always thaw meat out in the refrigerator, never on the counter or in the sink (unless the tap is running)
You can use a microwave to thaw meat out if you need it right before cooking.

When meat is stored between 40 and 140 F bacteria continues to grow and multiply (e coli doubles every 30 min) your refrigerator is kept at about 35 and although its out of the danger zone bacteria will continue to multiply slowly. So thawed food should be kept only for 3 to 7 days.

If you refreeze meat it will cause freeze damage and the quality of the meat will be low. Your meat will be tough.

If you choose to cook the turkey then freeze it, then, in my opinion the quality will be bad. Because you would need to cook the turkey to at least 165, then freeze it immediately (within a couple hours) then thaw it then cook it again back to 165 (all leftovers should be heated to this)

My recommendation is to thaw in the refrigerator, it will take a couple days, but once its completely thawed it can stay in the fridge for up to 7 days and then it should be tossed.

No - All recomendations say DO NOT refreez meat - or most things - because in the thawing process bacteria will grow and the meat may now be contaminated.

Particularly true with chicken and Turkey as the meat of high density grown birds often contains salmonella throughout.

In beef etc this is usually is usually only on the outside hence we can eat rare beef but not rare chicken.

IF you really need to refreeze then thoroughly cook ALL the turkey and freeze the extra cooked as the cooking will have killed any bacteria making it safe to freeze again.

If the cooking kills the bacteria, why not just refreeze the turkey and thoroughly cook it when you need it?

Because the cooking does not reliably destroy the toxins produced by the bacteria.

So meat has some bacteria, and the longer it is raw at ambient temp, the more bacteria grows, all the while producing toxins? I didn't know about the toxins. I should be more careful, I usually consider a "use by" date as more of a challenge than a safety precaution. :D

"Use by" dates on canned and dry goods are more a matter of tick-box exercises. As long as the packaging is sound, they're good to eat.

On fruit, veg, cheese, bread, stuff like that, that's where the challenge is. If you can stomach it, go for it.

Animal flesh, though, unless you buy it and quickly freeze it, treat the use-by dates as serious things.


Never a good idea to refreeze raw meat (of any kind, imo).

Like Rick said, cook ALL the ground turkey and just refreeze whatever you don't need of the cooked meat.

It depends on how the meat was thawed. If it was thawed in a ref. and not on the cabinet the it probably is safe to refreeze the meat, even chicken. 

Lots of meat you buy has already been frozen once anyway.  I know that chickens are often shipped frozen or almost frozen from personal experience.

Refreezing will draw out a bit more of the moisture and may break down the texture more.

If the meat was thawed on the counter then it probably did get warm enough for the bacteria to start growing and should be cooked promptly.

If you thaw *any* meat out, either cook it immediately or throw it away immediately.

Leaving the meat raw after thawing allows bacteria to grow. Although a thorough cooking later will kill those bacteria, it will not get rid of the toxins that the bacteria make, and it's the toxins that kill you, rather than the bacteria themselves.