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It has always been assumed at our house that if you make a meal with previously frozen meat that the meal cannot then be frozen itself and reheated at a later date. Is this true?

So, just to be clear, I've got some frozen mince, I defrost it, cook it in a lasagne then want to freeze the left-overs.

Advice would be most welcome.

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Broadly this is OK.

By broadly, I mean a couple of things. First, I'm assuming you are cooking the meat very thoroughly. That both means for long enough time to be completely thorough and hitting high enough temperatures to kill the main nasties off. Second, it naturally assumes you observe good practice with regard to not letting it sit for long periods, not co-mingling uncooked and cooked meet, yada-yada-yada.

I do what you're describing lots of the time myself incidentally, and have done for years without incident.

Of course, as I'm sure you know, one thing that is certainly a really bad idea is to freeze defrosted meat without cooking it.

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Well, it's not a really bad idea, as long as you do it in the fridge, its just quality loss. –  derobert Feb 23 '12 at 17:37
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No, this isn't true.

First off, even if you don't cook the meat, as long as you thaw it in the refrigerator, you can re-freeze it. There will be quality loss, but food safety is maintained. Source: USDA FS&IS Fact Sheet, "The Big Thaw".

If you instead thaw under cold water or in the microwave (or in the oven, as part of the dish), you should cook it before refreezing, but that's exactly what you're doing.

This ultimately is an application of the two-hour rule. You may also want to look at their fact sheet on freezing.

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