Safe Food Handling

Use the following table as your guide to safe food handling.

How to Handle
Baked Goods
Do not refreeze thawed backed goods, since the quality of the product will be poor. If the product is only partially thawed and still contains ice crystals, it may safely be refrozen even though the quality may suffer. Store thawed baked goods in the refrigerator to keep them fresh until they are consumed. Use within a few days.
Do not refreeze thawed cheese since the eating quality will be poor. Refrigerate the cheese and use as soon as possible.
Cure Meats
Safely refreeze cured meats that are still cold to the touch. Discard any packages that show signs of spoilage.
Do not refreeze fish unless it is still solidly frozen. If thawed fish is still cold to the touch, cook and consume immediately. Discard fish that has thawed to room temperature.
Frozen Fruit Juices
Shake the can. If the contents are totally thawed, reconstitute the juice and use. If the juice pulp is still frozen, refreeze.
Frozen Prepared Foods
Refreeze frozen prepared food only if ice crystals are still present. If foods are completely thawed but still in good condition, cook and consume immediately. Discard prepared foods that are in poor condition.
Refreeze thawed fruits that smell and taste good. Thawed fruits may be used in cooking or making jams, jellies, and preserves.
Ground Meats
Ground meats are particularly susceptible to spoilage due to the large amount of surface area. Immediately refreeze only those packages that are still solidly frozen. If packages are thawed but still cold to the touch, immediately cook the meat or cook and refreeze. Discard ground meat that is thawed to room temperature. Discard ground meat (frozen or thawed) that shows signs of spoilage (such as off colors or bad odors).
Ice Cream
Do not refreeze thawed ice cream.
Meats (other than ground)Examine the meat carefully. Color changes or off-odors may mean spoilage. Refreeze only packages that still contain ice crystals or are cold to the touch. Repackage meats in moisture-vapor proof wrap before refreezing. Discard any meat that is at room temperature.
PoultryTo be safely refrozen, poultry must be partially frozen and still contain ice crystals. If poultry is thawed but still cold to the touch, cook and consume immediately, or cook and refreeze. Repackage poultry in moisture-vapor proof wrap before refreezing. Discard poultry that is thawed to room temperature. If thawed poultry drippings have contaminated other foods, handle these foods as you would thawed poultry.
VegetablesRefreeze vegetables that contain ice crystals. If completely thawed but in good condition, cook vegetables and consume or cook and refreeze.