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I have a bunch of frozen beans in the freeze and I found out that pouring hot water on them is easier to take them out of their container with a measuring cup. But them I re-freeze them. Is this a bad idea or unhealthy? I'm too lazy to freeze a bunch of separate small cups of beans.

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In general, refreezing food is safe--but your thawing method is not a good idea.

While the rule that pathogens grow in the temperature "danger zone" of 40-140 F is oversimplified, it does reflect the fact that these temperatures are the most friendly to them. By thawing with hot water, you are raising the temperature into this range.

You would be better off thawing them with cool running water, which is one of the four acceptable methods of thawing food—see: What are the acceptable methods to thaw food items?

Even so, foods thawed with that method should be cooked or consumed immediately, as it does not ensure they stay at a safe temperature the entire time.

IF you really plan to refreeze, you should thaw in the refrigerator.

The total time the beans spend in the thawed state outside of the refrigerator should not exceed approximately 2-4 hours. Each time you thaw the beans, that clock is ticking.

Within that time frame, assuming you are thawing them with a proper method (such as in the refrigerator), they will be safe to refreeze, although you may get some degradation of texture.


Still, all of this thawing and refreezing seems like more work than packing them in smaller portions... one might argue that individual portions is actually the lazier approach. You don't need expensive or bulky containers; small zip type freezer bags will do.

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