All types of seafood are expensive delicacies. So, most people prefer buying seafood in bulk and freezing the unused portion for later use. In that case, you might be desperately surfing the internet too, is it safe to refreeze seafood?
You can refreeze all the seafood cooked or raw that was thawed in the refrigerator. If you follow the refreezing steps cautiously, the seafood will maintain optimum flavor for anywhere between 2-12 months. However, you should avoid refreezing it repeatedly, as it might cause the bacteria to grow and make it unsafe for consumption.
Although you can refreeze seafood to save it from wastage, there are a few instructions that you need to follow to preserve it in the best form.
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Is it Safe to Refreeze Partially/Completely Thawed Seafood?
You can safely refreeze partially/completely thawed seafood as long as it is thawed slowly in a refrigerator. However, you might notice a reduced quality due to refreezing.
It is not recommended to refreeze seafood thawed using any quick-thawing method. When you thaw seafood in a microwave, on the countertop, or with cold water thawing, the seafood is exposed to air for an extended period.
Prolonged exposure to air is hazardous for seafood as it might aid in bacterial growth and result in spoilage. So, it is best to thaw the seafood only in a refrigerator unless you plan to cook it right away.
To ensure the safe refreezing of seafood, you should ensure it has not been sitting at a temperature greater than 40 F for more than two hours/at a temperature greater than 90 F for more than an hour. Also, if you intend to refreeze the thawed seafood, make sure to do it within three days after thawing.
If the seafood has been sitting out for an extended time, it has probably started spoiling. Eating food that might have spoiled is not safe as it may cause serious health risks.
Sometimes the seafood might spoil even before the mentioned time limit has passed. So, before consuming anything, it is always advised to examine it thoroughly and discard it upon noticing any signs of spoilage.
Is it Safe to Refreeze Cooked Seafood?
Again, you can achieve safe refreezing of cooked seafood if it was thawed for 7-8 hours/overnight in a refrigerator. However, it is noted that cooked seafood loses much more taste, texture, and quality after refreezing.
However, refreezing seafood more than once might cause it to become overly dry and unappetizing. It is better to thaw the required amount only so that you may save the rest of it from unnecessary thawing.
You can refreeze the seafood in meal-size portions to help you avoid defrosting a larger quantity than required. It will also make the process of taking the refrozen goods out of the freezer.
How to Refreeze Seafood?
You can follow the steps given below to ensure the safe refreezing of seafood:
- First, make sure the seafood has been completely thawed. Unevenly thawed seafood is more prone to developing freezer burn, so make sure you give it enough time to thaw completely.
- Take the thawed seafood out of the refrigerator and start placing them on a freezer-safe tray in such a way that no two pieces are in contact with each other.
- Next, pop the tray into the freezer and let it sit there overnight or until all the seafood has frozen solid.
- Once all the pieces have frozen completely, take them out of the freezer and start wrapping individual pieces of seafood in a plastic wrap/clingfilm.
- After that, put the wrapped food in a freezer-safe bag/container, making sure to remove the excess air before sealing it close. Double-wrapping will lower the risk of freezer burns and help the seafood preserve the overall quality in a much better way.
- Now, label the bag/container with the exact date of refreezing with the help of a permanent marker.
- Finally, place the labeled bag/container in a cold corner in the freezer and keep it there until you are ready to use it.
Note: Although this refreezing method will work for most types of seafood yet, the refreezing steps might vary a little from type to type.
Can You Refreeze Seafood Twice?
As long as the seafood is thawed in a fridge, it is safe to refreeze it multiple times. Most people avoid refreezing food more than once as it takes a massive toll on the overall quality of food. However, if the need arises, you can undoubtedly consider refreezing the food again.
How Long Can You Refreeze Seafood?
You can significantly increase the shelf life of thawed seafood if you pay proper attention to the refreezing steps. Different types of seafood will last you for a different time span.
You can store different types of fish for 4-8 months after refreezing.
- Prawns/shrimps will last you for almost 3 months, once refrozen.
- You can store crabs for 2-3 months after refreezing. On the other hand, lobster might last you anywhere between 8-10 months after refreezing.
- Refrozen mollusks (i.e., clams, scallops, mussels, etc.) have a shorter lifespan and stay safe for eating for 1-2 months.
It is a general estimation of how long some different types of seafood will stay safe for consumption after refreezing. However, sometimes the Seafood might spoil earlier, despite following the refreezing steps cautiously.