Over the years, freezing has become one of the most popular ways of storing foods and keeping them in good shape till later. However, for some reason, other people have been going a step further by leaving their food to thaw before refreezing it.
Refreezing is excellent and could be advantageous. However, it only works for some food products at a particular time. Therefore, when certain factors are noticed or specific points are reached, you should not refreeze pork.
Pork, pig meat, is considered one of the healthiest meats around. For some people, however, it contains too much fat that they do not consume it. For others, they have been able to find ways to consume it. Lean pork is pork with relatively low fat.
It has many health benefits, even as much as the ones got from chicken or beef. Pork is used in the preparation of foods, a couple of products as well as dog feed.
Like any other raw meat, the best way to store your pork is by freezing it. Freezing slows down the rate of bacterial action, ruptures the fiber, and causes the meat to be protected. However, when you have taken your meat out of your freezer, allowed it to thaw because you want to use it, should you put it back inside the freezer to freeze all over again?
Here are five reasons why you should never refreeze pork
1. Refreezing make your pork lose its taste
Freezing, thawing, and refreezing make your pork lose its flavor and taste. As the pork thaws, water is lost from it, and then when you refreeze again, ice crystals are formed in the pork, which alters the pork’s flavor. Yes, you can refreeze pork. However, you should not if you don’t want to be left eating dry meat because that’s what it will taste like after the whole process of refreezing.
2. Refreezing pork is not safe
If you are health conscious, then you should totally avoid refreezing your pork; it’s not healthy. Frozen porks which are thawed out on the counter get spoiled easily. When you refreeze to cook and consume, chances are you are consuming contaminated food.
The first freezing subsides the bacteria. But the minute your meat starts to melt, the bacteria go back to work, further multiplying and acting on the meat. Unless you are thawing in a favorable environment, leaving your meat exposed for three to four hours while you decide and change your mind is opening it up to germs. You could get food poisoning eating it.
3. Refreezing pork make it lose its texture
Like the pork loses taste in the process of melting and refreezing, it also loses texture when it undergoes the same process. Bacterial growth does not fail to affect all parts of the meat, and that is why if you thaw to cook after refreezing, your pork will feel no way close to a fresh one. At that point, it has been frozen twice, allowed to lose its water twice, and ice crystals have been formed twice. Surely, you do not expect it to keep its great texture after all of that.
4. Refreezing has a limited effect on the action of bacteria
Before freezing your pork the first time, bacteria will act on it until the minute it is placed in the refrigerator. However, as soon as it starts to freeze, the bacteria become powerless as their action becomes limited. Thawing your pork on a counter after taking it out of the refrigerator is giving the bacteria their power back.
At that point, they do all they can to make up for the lost time by multiplying rapidly and exponentially. In hours, they establish millions of colonies.
Refreezing at this point would be simply just keeping your pork safe, as already they would have spread to every surface and eaten deep into the meat, giving it an unpleasant odor. Noticed that odor when you tried refreezing? It is because your refrigerator has limited power against the bacteria at this point.
5. Refreezing reduces the nutritional value
One of the benefits of eating pork is the nutritional value that comes with it. However, when your pork has undergone a daunting storage process, it soon losses all of the nutritional advantages that you could have gotten from eating it. Refreezing your pork after thawing out is suffering your pork. In the process of this, it becomes less nutritious and more dangerous to your health.
When to refreeze your pork
Yes, you can refreeze your pork. However, note that it is not the very best of options. In situations when you cannot discard the pork, here are conditions that should be met before you refreeze
Refreeze if defrosted properly
If you allowed your meat to thaw in a proper medium like the refrigerator, in a microwave, or in cold water, rather than the counter, you could still refreeze it. If you use any of these mediums, chances are it is still good, and bacteria have not acted on it. Otherwise, it would be best to dispose off the pork to avoid food poisoning.
Refreeze if ice crystals are present
Leaving your pork out is terrible, but if you have not left it out for too long, you can still refreeze it. Does it still have ice crystals that have not melted entirely? Does it still feel cold, and not just room temperature cold? If yes, then you can go ahead with the refreezing. Refreezing here is on the condition that it is not entirely thawed out.
Refreeze pork if it has not been out for long
Did you take out your pork for only about 30mintes to one hour? Then it’s still good to go. We all are guilty of not making up our minds on time when it comes to cooking.
Therefore, if you take out your pork to cook in a moment of indecision, then you should return as soon as you decide against cooking it. Do not leave it out on the counter for long, and do not allow it to melt before returning.
When not to refreeze pork
When left out for more than 2 hours
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it is not safe to refreeze meat taken out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. The USDA guideline is for all meat. Therefore, you should also not refreeze your pork if you have left it out for more than 2 hours.
If thawed on the counter
This is the worst way to thaw pork you plan to refreeze. Thaw using other ways, expect leaving on the counter. Leaving on the counter exposes your pork to bacteria and other contaminants that will make you sick when you consume it.
If it’s giving off an unpleasant odor
An unpleasant odor is an indicator that your pork may be spoilt. When you perceive an offensive smell, it’s better and safer to dispose off the pork, rather than refreezing to consume later.
If it looks bad
Some pork change looks entirely when they are spoilt. Instead of the fresh meaty-red appearance, you’ll notice a dull color with a non-appetizing look.
If you’re not sure it’s still good
Sometimes you may not be sure if your pork is still good or not, whether because of the melting process or you are unsure of how long you left it out. When this happens, take your time to examine the meat. Any of the red flags listed above is your indication to dispose of it.
Is it safe to refreeze pork?
Yes, if you thawed it out properly and did not leave it out on the counter for too long. Otherwise, you should not refreeze.
How many times can you refreeze pork?
Once. You can freeze your pork once and also refreeze it once again if certain conditions are met.
What happens when you refreeze pork?
It loses its taste, texture, color, and flavor. In short, pork you refreeze loses its nutritional value and may not be the best food.
Is it bad to refreeze pork chops?
No, not if you thaw and refreeze under the right conditions.
How do you refreeze pork chops?
Like the whole meat, you should ensure that it is still cold before refreezing. Do not jam together all of the pork. Arrange them neatly into the refrigerator and ensure that other products do not leak into it.
Can you refreeze pork once cooked?
Yes. Better than refreezing without cooking. You can refreeze your cooked pork.
Determining if a thawed pork is still good for refreezing or not can be tricky and confusing. However, you have to be really careful to avoid consuming foods that will leave you sick and poisoned.
Be careful with how you handle your pork and other raw meat so that they do not become dangerous to your health. When you are not sure if your meat is good enough to be consumed or not, then you pick the safer side by disposing and not consuming it.
When cooking, ensure you cook to the right temperature, to kill all bacteria.