Q:

Can thawed chicken be refrozen?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), it is safe to refreeze thawed chicken as long as the food was thawed in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days. However, the moisture lost through thawing may result in a loss of quality.

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Full Answer

Cooking chicken that has been previously thawed and then refrozen is safe as long as the raw product was handled properly. This means one should never thaw meat at room temperature, such as in the sink or on the kitchen counter. The USDA advises that no foods left outside the refrigerator for longer than 2 hours should be refrozen. Chicken that was temporarily warmed up may develop harmful bacteria that can only be destroyed by further cooking. Moreover, the USDA cautions that eating poultry or any other kind of meat thawed on the counter or in hot water may be dangerous because of the outer layer being exposed to high temperatures for far too long to be safe from harmful bacteria. Raw meat juices are potentially dangerous as well, so it is best to discard any items in the freezer that have come into contact with them. It is safe to refreeze meals cooked with chicken that was thawed properly.

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