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The Big Freeze Debate: To refreeze (or not) after thawing


freezer 003

We’ve all been there. You take chicken out to thaw and end up changing dinner plans at the last minute. And then you wonder “Is it safe to refreeze it?” The Festival Foods Food Safety Team is often asked: Which dishes are OK to freeze or refreeze and which should avoid the freezer all together?

We’re here to provide you some answers to the big freeze debate.

First things first, never taste food to determine its safety. That will only end badly.

Meat, seafood and poultry can all be re-frozen only if it still contains ice crystals or it has a temperature of 40 degrees or lower. It should be noted that re-freezing product that is already partially thawed will most likely affect the quality of the product because it will lose moisture.

Here’s a great chart from our friends at to help evaluate the product:

freezer chart


So … which types of products freeze well? Anything with a saucy base will generally freeze well, including  lasagnas, soups, stews and individual items like pizzas and dumplings. Some fruits freeze well, but it should be noted that berried fruits — strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, for example — freeze better than others.

Items that don’t freeze well:

  • fruits and vegetables with high water content
  • some dairy products can tend to separate while frozen (yogurts, sour cream, milk)
  • cooked pastas
  • cooked eggs
  • salads, jellies, and emulsion sauces

We want to know: Which items have you’ve tried to freeze with success? How about those epic freezer fails?

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