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Nov 9, 2013 10:20 PM


Is there a McGee out there? I bought a 1 kg sealed plastic bag of chopped dill.

I needed about 100 g (for Baltic Herring - raw fillets - marinated in vinegar, mustard, dill).

There was no room for such a bag in the freezer and it anyhow had defrosted to a state of being just good and cold.

I took out my 100g - and then quickly made 8 small plastic bags of the rest and popped them into the freezer.

We see warnings of DO NOT RE-FREEZE all over the place. Anyone see any danger in what I have done?

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    1. re: acgold7

      Thanks for the assurances.

      Are you basing on what I was thinking - sealed bag - still very cold - and then quickly into freezer. Exposure to 'outside world' rather minimal. -- ??

      I would very much hesitate to try any same thing with any meat or fish. But vegs and fruits have filled up the newspapers in the last few years with stories of listeria, etc.

      Anyone familiar with technical details of what might happen with re-freezing other than exposure to 'new' contaminants?

      1. re: jounipesonen

        Listeria, or anything else, cannot spontaneously generate. This whole ban on re-freezing is based on myth and there is no problem re-freezing food that isn't spoiled.

        You might suffer some textural degradation but there is no danger involved. Even with any form of protein.

        1. re: acgold7


          It's about degraded quality and not safety.

        2. re: jounipesonen

          when you freeze things, the water in the cells expands and can (depending on temperature and abruptness of the temperature change) burst the cell walls, leaving things limp and mushy.

          Not a big deal for herbs -- you're going to chop it up and cook it, anyway.

          1. re: sunshine842

            The responses up to now synch with what I thought I knew - one refinement: the dill would be used mostly with no cooking - ie in the preparation of marinated raw Baltic Herring.

            One thing is that if there WAS Listeria in the original package I would not have affected anything - I would anyhow have the original contamination - maybe a bit more as the Listeria would have had a short time to multiply when above freezing.

            1. re: jounipesonen

              but in a marinated dish like your herring, you're still going to have pretty high acid levels, which are still going to retard/stop the growth of any contamination.

              And even in a marinated dish, the herbs are still going to end up mushy...still no downside.

            2. re: sunshine842

              Does this also apply to fish and seafood? We live in a land-locked state and all our fish arrives frozen, albeit daily, and by the time it's placed into the fish counter at the store, it's thawed. Is it OK to bring it home and freeze it again? I was always told you had to cook it immediately.

              1. re: sandiasingh

                yes, it *especially* applies to fish and seafood.

                Refreezing previously-frozen fish and seafood will reduce it to flavorless mush.

                If you aren't going to eat it within a day or two, don't buy've been told right.

        3. Refreezing is merely a quality issue, unless food is brought to room temperature for awhile.

          1. Have never had any anxiety over re-freezing stuff... as long as it hasn't sat around for any significant amount of time at close to room temp.

            Cooking for one, most times, and a lot of food items are just hard to go small with... things like soup or stew. If I decide to make spaghetti and meatballs... can't just make 3-4?? Package of ground meat (even less than 1 lb) can make a LOT of meatballs. If I have 2-3 left-over... prefect frozen for MB sandwich in the future. If I don't make a sandwich before making MBs the next time, I'll just plop that small container into the sauce while cooking. Could be eating prehistoric food??

            2 Replies
            1. re: kseiverd

              On the cooking for 1 note, I usually separate things like a package of chicken breasts or ground meet into smaller, single portion sized freezer bags as soon as I bring them home from the market (and before I pop them into the freezer). That way you can unfreeze what you want, when you want to use it and keep the rest for later!

              1. re: kseiverd

                make a pound's worth of meatballs, brown them, THEN freeze them.