Friday , June 21 2024

Should defrosted meat be stored in fridges again?


I heard that defrosted meat should not be put back in fridges in order to avoid quality changes. So what is the proper way to preserve meat? (Hoa, 28, Hanoi).

Answer:

Freezing meat is an effective way to preserve the nutrients, quality and flavor of food. Putting defrosted meat back in the fridge may increase the risks of infection and loss of freshness. Defrosting meat with hot water is equivalent to cooking it, and hence makes it lose nutrients and causes changes in its quality.

Putting defrosted meat back in the fridge may increase the risks of infection and loss of freshness. Photo illustration by Unsplash

Putting defrosted meat back in the fridge may increase the risks of infection and loss of freshness. Photo illustration by Unsplash

Here is how to defrost meat properly:

Meat could be moved from the freezer to the cool compartment or a room temperature environment. While the former helps preserve the meat for an additional three to five days, the latter requires meat to be divided into portions, packaged in vacuum bags, and defrosted a portion at a time in order to be best preserved.

Meat stored in vacuum bags can be put directly in cold water to avoid the food being infected. After defrosting, it is necessary to cook the meat immediately. Adding salt and vinegar to the water can boost the defrost process. If part of the defrosted meat is left uncooked, it is recommended to put it in a new bag and then store in the freezer again.

Among the above mentioned defrosting methods, moving meat from the freezer to the cool compartment is the safest.

Other things to keep in mind while preserving meat is to not put it together with vegetables and other foods. Do not cook meat in boiled water or oil, as doing so may make the food lose its nutrients.

Claims about consuming long-preserved meat in fridges may lead to cancer are not correct. However, storing meat in fridges for too long is indeed an opportunity for viruses to get in, threatening health. Domestic fridges, which often keep the temperature between -18 and -12 degrees Celsius, can preserve meat for around a month.

Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh

Institute of Biotechnology and Food Technology

Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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