All types of Seafood are expensive delicacies. So, most people prefer buying Seafood in bulks and freezing the unused portion for later use. And now you had accidentally thawed some seafood which you don’t want to waste/cook just yet. In that case, you might be desperately surfing the internet too, is it safe to refreeze Seafood?
You can refreeze all Seafood with/without cooking. 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 the Seafood 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. To learn more about the safe refreezing of Seafood, consider checking out this well-researched guide.
Table of Contents
Is it Safe to Refreeze Seafood?
If you are wondering is it safe or not to refreeze Seafood, then we have got good news for you. 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.
But it is important to remember that it is not recommended to refreeze Seafood thawed using any quick-thawing method. When you thaw Seafood in a microwave, on the countertop, or by 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 of Seafood 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 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 Fish?
For almost eight months, you can safely refreeze all types of cooked/uncooked fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, etc.) for almost eight months. However, you might notice a compromised texture, taste, and quality after refreezing.
When you thaw and refreeze fish, the ice crystals melt and again form, resulting in moisture loss. The more times you thaw and refreeze the fish, the more the quality degradation will be. So, it’s better to refreeze the fish in meal-size portions as it lets you thaw the required amount only.
Can You Refreeze Prawns/Shrimps?
It is perfectly safe to refreeze prawns/shrimps which were wholly/partially thawed. When you refreeze the prawns within three days of thawing and do not expose them to the outside air for more than 1-2 hours, in that case, they might retain optimum flavor even after refreezing them once.
However, make sure you refreeze the prawns/shrimps thawed only in a refrigerator, as food/seafood thawed by fast thawing techniques becomes unsafe for refreezing.
Can You Refreeze Crab/Lobster?
You can refreeze crabs/lobsters as a whole/divided them into slices. However, refreezing them whole is preferred as the shell works as a tough covering and protects the meat from going bad. You can also refreeze the picked meat from the crab/lobster if you want. But, make sure to seal it well and refreeze in portions to ensure safe refreezing.
It is not advised to refreeze crabs/lobsters more than once as their meat is very soft and might immensely suffer if refrozen again.
Can You Refreeze Mollusks (Scallops, Clams, Mussels)?
It is not advised to refreeze scallops, clams, mussels, etc. if they have completely thawed. However, you can safely refreeze partially thawed mollusks. If you want to enjoy mollusks for an extended period, you can freeze them in portions. This way, they will last you for up to two months.
But, remember you should avoid refreezing mollusks that have completely thawed.
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.
It is safe to refreeze all types of Seafood, given that you thawed them in a refrigerator. If the cooked/uncooked Seafood was defrosted using some other thawing technique. In such a case, it is advised to either cook or toss the Seafood out immediately, as refreezing is no longer safe.
Different types of Seafood (such as fish, mollusks, crabs, lobsters, etc.) last you for a different time span. Even though refreezing Seafood more than once is an option, it is recommended to avoid doing so, as it will decrease the overall quality.