Just read this which basically says you can freeze and thaw food in the fridge any number of times. How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I'm still unclear on one point. If I had food which would be good in the fridge for 4 days and i put it in the freezer after 3 days, when I put it back in the fridge is my food good after its thawed for another 4 days or 1 more day?

2 Answers 2


Freezing doesn’t reset the clock, it’s more like “stopping the time” - or at least slowing it down very, very much.

Like putting perishable food in the fridge and slowing down bacterial growth, freezing the food brings it to a full stop.

But unlike heating, cooling or freezing does not kill bacteria. What went in the freezer comes out again, ready to multiply as soon as the conditions are favorable again. Which means, if you quickly stashed something in the freezer just before it goes bad in the fridge, you need to use it more or less immediately after you took it out and thawed it.

Microbiologists would probably object to this answer as too general, but we are looking at the pathogens responsible for food-borne illnesses and kitchen precision.

  • 1
    Many foods, the freezing/thawing will also speed up decomposition as well, especially from the breaking down of cell structure. Think of mushy fruit out of the freezer and how fast it will brown and go bad.
    – dlb
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 13:09
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    @dlb I choose to skip the quality aspects, as they are already covered in the question that OP linked to. And I had the impression that the question was focused primarily on meat. But good point, I should perhaps add a link to one of the more generic freezing posts.
    – Stephie
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 13:14

You might kill off some bad stuff by re-freezing but you don't get a reset. You also don't get a reset for heating above 140 F. Cumulative time in the danger zone is what counts (40 - 140 F).

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