Disaster Resources - University of Illinois Extension

Frozen Foods: When to Save and When To Throw Out

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Meat, Poultry, and Seafood

Type of Product Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed, held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Beef, veal, lamb, pork, ground meats Refreeze Discard
Poultry, ground poultry Refreeze Discard
Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings) Refreeze Discard
Casseroles, stews, soups, convenience foods, pizza Refreeze Discard
Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products Refreeze
(there will be some
texture and flavor loss)
Discard

Dairy, Eggs, Cheese

Type of Product Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed, held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Milk Refreeze
(may lose some texture)
Discard
Eggs (out of shells), egg products Refreeze Discard
Ice cream, frozen yogurt Discard Discard
Hard cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan) Refreeze Refreeze
Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses Refreeze Discard
Cheesecake Refreeze Discard

Fruits

Type of Product Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed, held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Juices Refreeze Refreeze
(discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops)
Home or commercially packaged Refreeze
(will change in texture and flavor)
Refreeze
(discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops)

Vegetables

Type of Product Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed, held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Juices Refreeze Discard if above 40°F for over 6 hours
Home or commercially packaged; blanched Refreeze
(may suffer flavor and texture loss)
Discard if above 40°F for over 6 hours

Breads, Pastries

Type of Product Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed, held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without custard filling) Refreeze Refreeze
Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese fillings Refreeze Discard
Pie crusts Refreeze Refreeze
Commercial and homemade bread dough Refreeze
(may suffer some quality loss)
Refreeze
(will suffer considerable quality loss)

Other Foods

Type of Product Still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigerated Thawed, held above 40° F for over 2 hours
Casseroles - pasta; rice-based Refreeze Discard
Flour, cornmeal, nuts Refreeze Refreeze

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service Food News for Consumers.

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