This article answers the popular query ‘can you refreeze pork?’ and provides some useful tips for freezing, thawing and refreezing meat. Sometimes we change our minds about what we want to cook and need to refreeze thawed meat for using another time.
The short answer to this frequently asked question is that yes you can refreeze pork, as long as the pork has been thawed in the fridge and hasn’t been sitting for long periods at temperatures of 6°C or 43°F and above.
NEVER leave pork or other meat to thaw on the counter because harmful bacteria can quickly multiply at room temperature (or temperatures of 6-60°C or 43-140°F). Obviously the warmer the weather and ambient temperature of your kitchen, the more quickly this will happen.
Examples of harmful bacteria that are present in raw meat include Salmonella, Escherichia coli (E.Coli) or Staphylococcus aureus. The presence of these bacterial strains can lead to food poisoning and in more serious cases (particularly in babies or very young children) even death.
Can You Refreeze Pork? (A Useful Guide)
Healthline on ‘Can You Refreeze Pork?’
What Meats Can Be Refrozen After Thawing?
Any meats can be refrozen after thawing provided they have been thawed in the fridge. If meat is thawed on the counter for some time at a temperature between 6-60°C or 43-140°F then there can be a build up of harmful bacteria which thrive at these temperatures.
Freezing meat does affect the texture however, and it can make the meat more watery although this will not have an impact on whether or not it is safe to eat.
Can You Refreeze Pork Ribs?
You can refreeze pork ribs (or any thawed meat) safely under certain circumstances – as in if it has been thawed in the fridge at a temperature below 6°C or 43°F. If the meat has been defrosted on the counter at temperatures between 6-60°C or 43-140°F there will have been opportunity for harmful bacteria (e.g. Salmonella) to breed and build up in the meat, making it potentially unsafe to eat.
Is it Unsafe to Refreeze Thawed Meat?
Contrary to the popular myth that you cannot refreeze thawed meat, it is safe to refreeze meat that has been thawed in the fridge below 6°C or 43°F. If the meat has been sitting out at temperatures above 6°C or 43°F then it has been in conditions which allow harmful bacteria to survive, making it potentially unsafe to consume.
Can You Refreeze Meat Thawed at Room Temperature?
You should not refreeze meat thawed at room temperature because room temperature allows potentially harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella or E.Coli to thrive. You can refreeze meat that has been thawed in the fridge however, as it has remained at temperatures below 6°C or 43°F which slows down the growth of bacteria.