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Our refrigerator every so often gets a large build up of ice at the back, a sure indication that the freezer needs manual defrosting.

Quite often we have discovered packets of cooked meat, vegetables etc. are partially frozen, e.g. maybe 50% of their area or so in the refrigerator.

Am I correct in assuming these items are safe to eat and worse case all this will result in is a loss of quality issue? My reasoning here is that as they have not been in the temperature danger zone while being stored in the refrigerator. Would this still apply though even if we have not noticed them freezing and defrosting over a couple of days?

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Ice formation is damaging to most tissues (and sometimes fat crystals to milk fat globules), so if uncooked produce thaws I'd imagine it's more vulnerable than before to mold/bacterial intrusion within the fridge. If there's cycling, then maybe some food will perish quicker and emulsions break.

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  • to add to this: frozen fruit that has been defrosted goes bad way quicker than fresh cut fruit. meat, however, I would assume doesn't change much in terms of how fast it goes bad (no source for this though).
    – Esther
    Sep 14, 2022 at 18:45
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I would say that as long as the meat has been cooked, it should be safe to eat. I do so all the time.

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