Urgent meatball quandary
March 19, 2022 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Please help me with a "can I eat this?" question featuring meatballs!

Small gathering happening tonight. Friend is making meatballs in a crockpot (one pot for beef/pork/chicken, one for vegan). Friend has purchased several packs of each type, frozen. She has stored them in a mini fridge that doesn't have freezing capabilities.

Meatballs are no longer frozen and have been in the fridge for probably 20 hours (possibly several days?) They are mushy. I am worried about her cooking these. I have offered to go pick up more frozen meatballs this afternoon, right before she begins cooking.

(She is very very sensitive and is upset about this, and thinks her non-frozen meatballs are fine, but that is a different question...)

Would you replace the meatballs? I just don't want to make anyone sick!
posted by sucre to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Just to clarify — the mini fridge was working and kept them at proper refrigerator temp? They have just defrosted? They should be absolutely fine. Meatballs typically will be mushy before cooking.
posted by profreader at 8:00 AM on March 19, 2022

Response by poster: Yes-- fridge has been working fine! The packages all say "keep frozen" so that's what I'm going off of.
posted by sucre at 8:02 AM on March 19, 2022

Best answer: "Keep frozen" is to control things like cooking time, eg if you are popping them in the oven, it would burn them if you thawed them but used the frozen time.

These are 1000% fine, enjoy!
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:04 AM on March 19, 2022 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Probably more a texture thing than a food safety thing if it says cook from frozen and they are now defrosted when they are cooked.
posted by koahiatamadl at 8:06 AM on March 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: probably 20 hours (possibly several days?)

I'd want to know a bit more detail here -- sometimes when people say "several days" they mean much longer, which would worry me. But meatballs that were thawed and kept at safe fridge temperature for 2-3 days wouldn't be of concern to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:19 AM on March 19, 2022 [6 favorites]

I would be absolutely certain to bring them up to the proper temp and maybe a little over quickly, and be certain they stayed there, because it's an easy way to be cautious, but these are safe to eat.
posted by theora55 at 9:40 AM on March 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As long as "several" days couldn't be more than four, I would eat them. In fact I DO eat them! I buy frozen meatballs to make meal prep pasta bakes and soups, and if my freezer is especially full I'll just put them in the fridge when putting stuff away and they often don't get used for 2-3 days. They actually stay frozen in the center for nearly an extra day, in my fridge.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2022

Response by poster: Well I feel a bit silly for getting so worked up over meatballs! Thanks everyone for easing my mind!
posted by sucre at 10:12 AM on March 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Meatballs can be deadly! It's better to ask if you don't know so good work!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:53 AM on March 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

« Older How do I make Hanxwriter work across apps?   |   Terrible Unidentified Dog Cough/Hairball/Honk Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.