Safe to cook this chicken breast?
November 16, 2009 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Uncooked chicken breast has developed a small hard spot (image1, image2). Safe to bake and eat around the spot?

It had been thawed in the refrigerator and then refrozen again before now, if that matters.
posted by casaubon to Food & Drink (14 answers total)
Yikes. I'd not mess around with mystery spot chicken. You're not supposed to thaw and refreeze, anyway.
posted by something something at 1:20 PM on November 16, 2009

Yeah normally, I'd say eat it. But chicken and weird hard spots and refreezing... not so much.
posted by jerseygirl at 1:24 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Speaking as someone who raises chickens I am guessing this is probably a pecking wound and is probably harmless if you cut away from it and cook thoroughly. The only thing in my mind that would raise flags is similar spots elsewhere in the meat, which would point more toward cysts or some other problem; that kind of meat is usually condemned for good reason. I would say give the meat a good going over and if it looks fine then you probably have nothing to worry about.
posted by crapmatic at 1:27 PM on November 16, 2009

Never, ever, ever. Seriously, chicken is cheap. As far as eating questionable foods go, I'm pretty daring, but bad chicken can kill you. Probably you won't have an issue - in fact, I'd say odds are pretty good its just fine. But this is like a $4 piece of meat. Not worth it.
posted by neksys at 1:28 PM on November 16, 2009

Yeah, probably safe to eat, but definitely not worth it.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:29 PM on November 16, 2009

I figured as much. I put it in with some other pieces but will most likely just toss after it's done.
posted by casaubon at 1:32 PM on November 16, 2009

I can't think of anything in the thaw-refreeze cycle that would have made a hard spot appear so it must have been there all along. I would have cut the spot out, and as long as it smelled all right, cooked and eaten the rest normally.

(I ain't dead yet.)
posted by rokusan at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2009

You need to throw out all the chicken that was thawed and refrozen, not just the peices that have hard spots. Freezing only slows bacterial growth and the thaw/refreeze cycle lets both bacteria and bacterial toxins accumulate, plus it damages the cell structure of the meat leading to accelerated breakdown of the flesh. The don't thaw then refreeze restriction is well validated advice not a vague guideline, that meat's no good.
posted by shelleycat at 2:01 PM on November 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, and dangerous chicken doesn't necessarily smell bad so please ignore that advice.
posted by shelleycat at 2:01 PM on November 16, 2009

Just bin the lot. Don't thaw and refreeze chicken. Or any meat. Or anything, really. Just don't.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:03 PM on November 16, 2009

I'm pretty sure the spot is from a small hole in the package. The meat is hard because it dried out there. No advice as to whether you should or should not eat it as it is entirely your call. I always just cut the dry spot out and cook it as usual.
posted by stubborn at 4:03 PM on November 16, 2009

If you believe the USDA: "Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting."
posted by Orinda at 5:25 PM on November 16, 2009

Seconding Orinda. There is nothing inherently bad about refreezing and rethawing. Just keep the food well refrigerated in between, and don't wait too long. Chicken, meat, veggies, casseroles, you name it.
posted by exphysicist345 at 6:02 PM on November 16, 2009

A chicken breast costs what, three dollars? Leave that one out back for the raccoons and buy a fresh one.
posted by twistofrhyme at 9:12 PM on November 16, 2009

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