Can I re-freeze thawed french fries and hash browns?
December 17, 2006 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Can I re-freeze thawed french fries and hash browns?

The power was out for approximately 60 hours. The highly processed curly fries and potatoes o'brien in my freezer thawed. The freezer is a stand-alone deep freezer, and other items in the freezer did not thaw. Is it safe to re-freeze these items for consumption on another day?
posted by crazycanuck to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
Well if nothing else thawed, they most likely remained quite cold for those ~3 days. If they've never been opened or thawed before they'll probably be fine if you fully cook them. The texture will probably be off though. Potatoes are cheap, I'd buy new ones for the texture alone.
posted by Science! at 11:14 AM on December 17, 2006

Best answer: From here

Q. Some of my food in the freezer started to thaw or had thawed when the power came back on. Is the food safe? How long will the food in the refrigerator be safe with the power off?
A. Never taste food to determine its safety! You will have to evaluate each item separately. If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, read the temperature when the power comes back on. If the appliance thermometer stored in the freezer reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen. If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine the safety. Remember you can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze. Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for 2 hours.

Q. May I refreeze the food in the freezer if it thawed or partially thawed?
A. Yes, the food may be safely refrozen if the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below. You will have to evaluate each item separately. Be sure to discard any items in either the freezer or the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices. Partial thawing and refreezing may reduce the quality of some food, but the food will remain safe to eat. See the attached charts for specific recommendations.
posted by edgeways at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2006

about 1/2 way down the page
posted by edgeways at 11:16 AM on December 17, 2006

As far as quality goes, thawing and refreezing causes more and more of the cell walls to rupture so potaoes in particular become mushy.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2006

Can I re-freeze thawed french fries and hash browns?

Well, of course you can. The question is, should you?

And the answer to this sort of thing is always "better safe than sorry". Just chuck it all away and get some new curly fries etc. It's hardly going to break the bank, is it?

Unless you're really, really poor (like I was when I asked about picking green poisonous bits off potatoes), in which case I humbly apologise and offer you my sympathy.
posted by reklaw at 12:03 PM on December 17, 2006

I would refreeze 'em and eat 'em. Admittedly I'm pretty laissez-faire about this stuff, but I can't imagine what would be in frozen french fries that could possibly do much harm.
posted by loiseau at 1:28 PM on December 17, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, I could just buy new bags, but I'm lazy. I had bought multiple bags as part of a freezer stockpile, and it seemed a shame to waste all that food. Since they're not poison, I can taste-test them next time and if they're mushy as all hell I'll throw them out then. Thanks
posted by crazycanuck at 2:01 PM on December 17, 2006

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