View Full Version : OT - freezing meat
11-15-2006, 12:25 PM
Does anyone know whether or not stores have to mark meat that has been frozen?
What I mean by this is, when you freeze meat and thaw it, it is not supposed to be refrozen without cooking it. But at the stores I see partially frozen meats in the refrigerated section, so if it was frozen (without me knowing it) then put in the refrigerated section and thawed out, then I buy it, take it home and freeze it couldn't this be a bad thing? If I don't see that the meat is partially frozen I am not going to know if it was at one time frozen.
I'm asking about this because I bought some beef, brought it home, froze it, thawed it in the microwave, and it was NASTY when I opened it.
OK, did any of that make sense?
11-15-2006, 12:33 PM
i don't believe that they have to mark it. :shrug: i have bought meat lots of times that is partially frozen, luckily i am usually buying it to cook right away. some of this partial freezing may be because of how cold their refridgerators have to be. in other words, it may not be frozen per se, but just partially so after being in a very cold fridge. i have also heard not to thaw and refreeze certain meats, but i don't know what it does to them. don't know if this helps, but i thought i would respond anyway. :??
11-15-2006, 12:40 PM
I went to the USDA website to find the answer to your question and came across this (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/1/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=faqdetail-16.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_FAQ_NAVIGATION_ID=FOOD_FQ&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=FAQS_BYTOPIC&PC_7_2_5JM_FAQ_NAVIGATION_TYPE=FAQS_BYTOPIC#7_2_5J M),which says it's okay to refreeze meat after it's thawed as long as it was handled properly. I didn't look up labeling standards, but if you're curious, you can probably find the answer to that question on the site as well. (Lots of good info there on how long you can store stuff safely, etc. too.)
11-15-2006, 01:06 PM
Thanks Lis and Jane,
I don't know why I didn't think to check USDA. :??
There is a lot of info on that site.
Even though it is supposed to be safe, I would still like to know if something has been frozen or not.
11-15-2006, 01:14 PM
We have some friends and he's been a butcher for years He said that a majority of meat has been frozen and refrozen before it gets to the consumer. I guess it is a dirty little secret! Now whether it is that way now or not, I do not know. I would say no, they do not have to tell the consumer! Be aware that some products are shipped to them prepackaged and frozen, ie chicken and may actually be thawing in their refrigerated area instead of the other way around.
Jan in CA
11-15-2006, 01:23 PM
I've always heard that as long as it's not completely thawed you can refreeze it. So I guess by this standard partially frozen meat can be refrozen. You may have just had a bad piece of meat. :shrug:
11-15-2006, 02:13 PM
And all of this is why I buy meat the day I am going to use it. I watched a special on the news about how grocery stores are getting caught re-dating meat that has expired! If I didn't like meat so much, I'd go vegitarian.
11-15-2006, 03:02 PM
Are you anywhere near a meat locker? I buy all my meat from a meat locker that processes meat for local farmers. They get it from the farmer, kill it, process and freeze it, and then I buy it frozen from them.
11-15-2006, 05:57 PM
There is not a Meat Locker here. I wish I could get some that is less processed. I used to live in the sticks and the farmers would give us meat from cows that they had slaughtered, that was good stuff.
Yeah, the meat I got may have just been bad, I would have taken it back to the store if I hadn't frozen it. I just hate wasting meat like that, and the money.
I watched a special on the news about how grocery stores are getting caught re-dating meat that has expired!
:ick: I don't doubt it. But it is still gross.
11-15-2006, 06:57 PM
We have some friends and he's been a butcher for years He said that a majority of meat has been frozen and refrozen before it gets to the consumer. I guess it is a dirty little secret!
Freezing meat tenderizes it. The water in the cell expands and breaks down the cell wall. The strong cell wall is what makes meat tough. Meat tenderizer (MSG) is a salt and it expands the liquid in the cell breaking down the cell wall. Pounding meat with a tenderizing mallet breakes down the cell walls....
If the meat is thawed in the fridge where e-coli doesn't have a chance to take hold, it's perfectly safe to refreeze it.
11-15-2006, 07:14 PM
I've had that happen. Now I either buy frozen or buy fresh and cook within 2 days.