Can You Refreeze Chicken?

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Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Can you refreeze chicken?  You can refreeze chicken, but it can potentially affect the quality, taste, and texture of it. If you are trying to refreeze chicken at peak quality, try to do it as soon as possible. To maintain quality and prevent it from spoiling try to always refreeze it at or below 0-degree Fahrenheit.

If you store it properly it can be refrozen for up to 9 to 12 months, but cooked chicken lasts up to 4 months. Freezing can slow microbial growth, but it won’t kill foodborne pathogens.

Can you refreeze chicken?  Photo credit: iStock-Photosiber

According to the FDA the three safest ways to thaw chicken is:

  • Soak chicken in cold water and replace the water every 30 minutes.
  • Microwave chicken while using the defrost setting.
  • Thawing the chicken in a refrigerator for 1 to 2 days at 40-degree Fahrenheit or below.

There are times that if you defrost the chicken in cold water in a microwave it will allow harmful bacteria or germs to grow. So, one of the ways to avoid this is to cook chicken before refreezing it.

How long does chicken last in the refrigerator?

Raw chicken can last in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days and cooked chicken can last in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days. Raw chicken can stay in the freezer for up to 9 months and cooked chicken stays in the freezer for 2 to 6 months.

What are some of the signs to tell if chicken has gone bad?

  • The color in the chicken has changed to gray and green spots which is indicative of bacterial growth.
  • The smell of the chicken will start to have a bad ammonia smell.
  • The texture of the chicken becomes slimy which is indicative of bacteria spread.

What are the dangers of eating spoiled chicken?

Eating spoiled chicken can potentially cause food poisoning and food borne illness. And that food poisoning comes from spreading of bad bacteria like salmonella and or campylobacter.  Some of the negative symptoms of food poisoning is vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, nausea, chills, bloody stools, etc.

How is this bad bacteria on chicken avoided?

The best way to eliminate all the bad bacteria on raw chicken is to cook the chicken thoroughly. Cooking or reheating chicken can kill the surface bacteria.

The Bottom Line is you can refreeze chicken, but it can potentially affect the quality, texture, and taste of it. But if you are trying to refreeze it to peak quality try to do it as soon as possible.

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  1. USDA-
  2. Bintsis T. Foodborne pathogens. AIMS Microbiol. 2017 Jun 29;3(3):529-563. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2017.3.529. PMID: 31294175; PMCID: PMC6604998.
  3. Chai SJ, Cole D, Nisler A, Mahon BE. Poultry: the most common food in outbreaks with known pathogens, United States, 1998-2012. Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Jan;145(2):316-325. doi: 10.1017/S0950268816002375. Epub 2016 Oct 26. PMID: 27780481; PMCID: PMC9507623.
  4. U.S FDA-

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