Can raspberries be refrozen once they have been defrosted?? © german press agency
When is it allowed to refreeze thawed food??
Everyone knows the warning on the packaging of most frozen products: "Do not refreeze after thawing". But how exactly do you have to take this advice? Is it really so dangerous to freeze thawed food again?
Then defrosted should be consumed directly
The decisive factor in answering this question is, on the one hand, the temperature at which thawed food is stored, and on the other hand, the time it spends outside the freezer. The rule of thumb is: the higher the temperature and the longer the food has been exposed to it, the sooner it should not be refrozen. Why? The reason is microorganisms that multiply at high temperatures and spoil the food.
During freezing, these microorganisms go into hibernation, so to speak. They cannot multiply – but contrary to popular opinion, they are not killed either! As soon as the temperature rises again during thawing, the microbes feel spring fever – and they multiply industriously! And this could well lead to food poisoning if eaten.
Whether you can refreeze food depends on various factors
To prevent this, frozen food – especially animal food – should be defrosted in the refrigerator or put directly into the pot for cooking. Since animal foods such as meat and fish are perishable, they should be stored in a cool place even after defrosting if they are to be refrozen afterwards. If meat or fish has been completely thawed and out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, to be on the safe side, it should not be refrozen or eaten again.
For all other foods, as long as they show no changes in appearance, color or odor, they can be re-frozen. Before refreezing, always ask yourself: "Would I eat or prepare the food now??" If yes, then it may go back into the freezer. Possible loss of nutrients as well as changes in taste and appearance must be accepted after refreezing.
Hygiene in the kitchen
In addition to the topic of defrosting, there are a few other points that should be taken into account when it comes to food and kitchen hygiene. We show which are!
1) If raw meat is first cut on a cutting board and salad or vegetables are later prepared on the same board – without cleaning it first – pathogens can be transferred in the process. Especially in the grooves and scratches of heavily used boards, bacteria have the chance to multiply unhindered. So use a different cutting board for meat than for fruit and vegetables.
In general, clean boards and knives with hot water and detergent after each contact with raw food and replace them completely on a regular basis. There is also a trick to disinfecting the cutting board quickly and easily: Put the board in the microwave for one minute at high power – after that it will be germ-free and disinfected.
2) In order to kill germs, raw animal products in particular should only be consumed when sufficiently cooked. Raw ground meat, such as ground pork, can be contaminated with salmonella and cause diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If food is heated to 70 degrees Celsius for two minutes, this kills almost all germs.
Beef is sufficiently cooked when it is gray-brown inside, pork becomes grayish-pink, chicken whitish. Fish has been sufficiently heated if it is no longer glassy.
3) Food that has been poorly refrigerated is often the cause of food poisoning. At less than 6 degrees, for example, salmonella does not multiply at all, but at room temperature it already multiplies very strongly. Then it does not help to refrigerate the food afterwards either.
An example makes it clear: meat stored at 20 degrees Celsius spoils ten times faster than when stored at 0 degrees. Perishable foods should therefore always be stored in the refrigerator – where it is coldest directly above the vegetable drawer. By the way, the optimal refrigerator temperature is between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius.
4) Even at refrigerator temperature, some germs can multiply – Listeria and Yersinia, for example, even at 0 degrees Celsius. Dirt and forgotten food that has become moldy can also turn the refrigerator into a germ-haven. Therefore, remove dirt directly instead of letting it dry on and clean the refrigerator regularly with hot vinegar water.
Keep the vegetable crisper and the drainage channel on the back of the refrigerator in mind, as these places are often teeming with germs. Open food should be covered in the refrigerator.
5) For hygiene in the kitchen and to reduce germs, thorough hand washing is enormously important. For this purpose, hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds and completely soaped up – however, most Germans wash their hands significantly shorter and less thoroughly.
Hands should be cleaned before, during and after food preparation. This is especially important if you work with meat or raw eggs. And it pays off: if hands are washed thoroughly, this reduces germs to one-thousandth.
6) If frozen poultry or game is thawed, salmonellae and sometimes even antibiotic-resistant germs can often be found in the resulting water. Frozen foods are therefore best thawed unwrapped and in a covered bowl in the refrigerator, and ideally not directly in the thaw water.
The dew water can be disposed of afterwards over the sink – here you should rinse then again with hot water and clean hands as well as used utensils and surfaces thoroughly.
7) Among the main causes of food infections are salmonella, which easily gets on the shell of the egg in the chicken house and now and then also occurs in the yolk. Be sure to use only undamaged and fresh eggs when preparing dishes with raw eggs, and then refrigerate them immediately and eat them quickly.
If surfaces, kitchen utensils and hands have come into contact with raw egg, they should be washed with hot water and detergent, respectively. soap to be cleaned. At Easter, it is recommended not to blow out raw eggs with the mouth, but with a straw. In addition, the eggs should be washed thoroughly before painting.
Germs in salad can be reduced if acidic salad dressings are used, because they have a disinfecting effect. Washing lettuce thoroughly and then dressing it with a vinegar and oil vinaigrette can remove a full 99 percent of germs.
In general, fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs should always be washed under running water before consumption. For food, it is better to use warm water and rub the food while washing it.
9) Rags and dishwashing sponges are an ideal breeding ground for germs because they are often stored damp and not thoroughly washed at or in the sink. Research shows that more bacteria and pathogens live on dishcloths and sponges than on flushing toilets – and every time you use them to wipe and rinse, those germs end up on countertops and kitchen utensils, where they can continue to multiply.
To avoid this, sponges and cloths should be replaced regularly and washed in the washing machine at 60 degrees Celsius, the latter ideally every one to two days. In addition, always rinse used rags well and spread them out flat so they can dry.