In this article, I am going to explore everything that is about refreezing fish the proper way and I will also provide you with guidelines for different scenarios like cooking and vacuum-sealed fish.
What you must know is that thawing and refreezing of fish is very crucial in avoiding foodborne illnesses and maintain the quality of fish.
How to thaw fish properly
One of the methods for thawing frozen fish quickly is the cold-water method which involves first sealing the fish in a plastic bag which also help to remove excess air, and finally submerging it in cold water.
This water should be changed every 30 minutes until the fish is fully thawed. If you desire, you can refreeze the fish after thawing in water.
If you have purchased fish already thawed from the grocery store, avoid refreezing the fish as the thawing process before you bought it might not have been handled correctly.
The microwave for those that have one can also be used to thaw fish. This is the quickest method that requires careful attention to prevent partial cooking. The best setting for this is the defrost setting on the microwave.
In refrigerator thawing, the frozen fish in a leak-proof container and allowed to thaw slowly in the refrigerator. This is the safest method for thawing fish as this method ensures a consistent temperature and prevents bacterial growth.
Refreezing fish or meat
After Cooking and vacuum sealing: Refreezing and cooking process can lead to the loss of quality and taste of fish. This is why you should avoid re-freezing fish, especially salmon after cooking as its texture and taste may suffer resulting in an increased risk of foodborne illness.
However, you can refreeze salmon that was previously frozen ensuring it is done promptly and safely to retain its quality.
On the other side it is important to note that both fish fingers once defrosted and vacuum sealed fish properly handled with care can be refrozen if they have been stored correctly during the thawing process.
After thawing at room temperature: Refreezing meat or fish thawed at room temperature for an extended period is unsafe as bacteria contamination leading to food poisoning can occur.
Avoid refreezing fish multiple times because when you do, it undergoes changes in temperature that can lead to the growth of bacteria and potential degradation of the quality. This is why I recommend that you should only refreeze fish once and what out for signs to know when your fish has gone bad.
Freezing cooked and uncooked fish
Divide uncooked fish into smaller portions before freezing so that it becomes easy to thaw just the amount you need to reduce potential food waste while for the cooked fish, you divide the leftover into portions after cooling down completely before refreezing using airtight containers to maintain its moisture and flavor.
Refreezing Different Types of Fish
The ability to refreeze fish is shown in the table below.
In conclusion, refreezing fish incorrectly can lead to rapid bacterial growth, resulting in food poisoning upon refreezing and consumption and degradation in nutritional value such as a decrease in certain vitamins and minerals will also occur.
This is why It is best to understand how long your fish can sit out in order to quickly consume the fish shortly after thawing for maximum nutritional benefit.