Should I eat this: Partially Unthawed Beef Patties Edition
May 13, 2022 2:59 PM   Subscribe

I know by asking this I should have answered my own question. But I can't afford to replace and I haven't been able to afford red meat much at all and I really enjoy it. I got them frozen from my university's food pantry. Not knowing they had frozen food, and having a couple of on-campus meetings, I hoped they'd stay frozen enough for the 3 hours I was there.

Got them yesterday some time between 1:45 and 2pm. They were stored in what appeared to be a commercial freezer, so they were probably colder than a home freezer. I stayed in the same building, but it was warmer than usual inside; I'm guessing mid 70s. Met with a teacher and took a call. Got them home around 5-5:30.

They were cool, and some of them were still fairly frozen. The two outermost ones were cool but didn't seem frozen or had very little frozen. There were 4 others - 2 were decently frozen in the center but the edges were thawed albeit cold. 2/3 frozen maybe? The other two were less frozen, still cold but the fact they were about 1/2 frozen.

I put the two most frozen ones in the fridge to finish thawing as I figured they were the most likely to still be good, with the intent of eating today. The other two half frozen ones I put in the freezer as a "maybe I could eat them, but lets just save and see" the two that had thawed I tossed.

I want to eat these. I can't afford to replace, I need to reapply for food stamps because I missed a deadline and I'm focused on finishing a bad semester (which they all have been tbf. Don't start school right before a pandemic, especially when you're already on shaky ground. But I'm here and trying.). So I opted to try and eek out the next week for finals by going to food pantry.

Of course I am having my doubts, even though I badly want to cook and eat these. They smell fine, I'm hungry. I'm even willing to risk food poisoning if the risk is not too big or I'm not realizing how deadly it could be.

Can I? I like my burgers medium rare, but would be willing to prepare well done if I have to.
posted by [insert clever name here] to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
I would eat them all. The ones that thawed out the most I would cook first. You will be fine.
posted by number9dream at 3:04 PM on May 13, 2022 [9 favorites]

I would eat them. It sounds like while they weren’t totally frozen, they were still at fridge temperature, which should be fine (if they had been warm, I would def toss). Note that sometimes thawing and re-freezing affects texture - it tends to make things mushy - but the texture itself doesn’t indicate anything unsafe.
posted by maleficent at 3:10 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'd eat them. It sounds like they didn't get too warm and you handled them well when you got home. Stop worrying and enjoy.
posted by furtheryet at 3:26 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

I would have eaten them all. For about a year I was a grill cook at university, burgers, dogs, teriyaki chicken, fries. Outside in the summer sun for more than 3 hours at a time. They're all good. I'd still let fully thawed but fridge cool sit on the counter for a couple of hours to get to room temperature before cooking it. Eat what you have left.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:35 PM on May 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Eat them!
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 4:03 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

I would not think twice about eating them.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:17 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

I agree, I would eat these. Different story if the meat had gotten to room temperature, but it sounds like it stayed cold, just not frozen all the way through.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:30 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Agreed. Season them properly and imagine to yourself that the salt is killing all the bacteria. It's not, and there's no dangerous bacteria there, but if it helps, go for it.
posted by Pacrand at 4:43 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Absolutely—they're perfectly fine. Sahtain!
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:46 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh Dang, I wish I had eaten the two I tossed yesterday!

About to make the other two, will report back, but it sounds like i was worrying over nothing.

I am so looking forward to this!
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:54 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

If I were anxious, I'd be sure to cook the outside ones to medium. But the answer is Eat and Enjoy Them.
posted by theora55 at 8:30 PM on May 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

I would eat them without worry, and I tend to be cautious regarding food.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:36 AM on May 14, 2022

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