Using Meat That Was in a Broken Freezer

My freezer stopped working. I did not know this until I saw a puddle of water. It is completely defrosted. The food was thawed but still cold. There was roast, chicken, and ground meat. I put it in the refrigerator and want to know if it is safe to cook.


By Mary Ann from Pittston, PA

June 14, 20100 found this helpful

If you discovered that your freezer wasn't working the very next day, then the meat is okay. But if a week has gone by, then you should throw the meat out.

roast - 3-5 days

chicken - 1-2 days

ground meat - 1-2 days

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June 15, 20100 found this helpful

My mother always said:

'When in doubt, throw it out.'

I know it's a lot of money, but it's not worth it. I had the same problem during our last hurricane. I was sick to throw away food, but it's not worth a trip to the doc!

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June 16, 20100 found this helpful

Never, never, never...

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June 16, 20100 found this helpful

I would just throw it out, but the FDA says it's safe to use if there are still ice crystals present, so it would have to still be very, very cold, and this would only be for the solid pieces of meat. Never save thawed ground meat of any kind for more than a day before using. Always better to be safe than sorry :-)

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June 16, 20100 found this helpful

I would not take the chance, it is not worth it. Throw all of it out!!

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June 19, 20100 found this helpful

If there was a puddle of water, and the meat was even just partially defrosted and sat without any refrigeration for more than an hour, it's unsafe to eat. Please toss it.

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August 10, 20130 found this helpful

I've had this happen twice, most recently two days ago. If the meat is still cold, it is fine. You can grind roasts and steaks and then refreeze as hamburger. The defrosted ground meat, chicken, and others can be cooked and then refrozen. I had a whole freezer full of steak and roast quit. I have a large hobart grinder and put them all through it. Had tons of ground beef. Ate on it for a year.

Some of the roasts I cooked and shredded for quick meals. If the meat is still stiff and mostly ice crystals, you can refreeze it as is. My most recent failure was nearly 100lbs of ground beef. I spent the day cooking it, making ground beef crumble for tacos or other recipes, meatballs, and mini meatloaves in muffin tins. Then I just refroze the cooked stuff and I have half prepared meals ready to go. Use your nose and common sense.

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