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Q. What are the rules for freezing previously frozen foods? –Betty, Menasha

A. Freezing is a form of temporary storage, and it is recommended to keep products frozen for a maximum of six months. Yes, I am aware that people keep products frozen in their freezers for much longer than that, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Freezing causes the cells of the product to expand which usually results in them rupturing. Using a frozen strawberry as an example, consider how soft it becomes when thawed out from the freezer compared to the quality it was when it went into the freezer. When thawed, the previously frozen product contracts which causes moisture to escape, resulting in a drier product than when it was fresh. This expansion and contraction occurs each time a food product is frozen and thawed, so each time the quality of the product deteriorates. It is for this reason it is recommended that previously frozen foods should not be re-frozen. The best advice is to keep a minimum quantity of frozen foods in your inventory, and rotate and utilize your frozen product within six months for optimal quality.

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