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View Full Version : I just had $2000 of meat go bad.



Bartholomew
10-21-2008, 09:36 PM
We've been buying our meat in advance directly from a butcher, lately. In the long run, it's a little cheaper. Problem is, the freezer decided to break last night, and all of this meat thawed out. My mother is freaking out, saying you can't refreeze meat. I'm not sure about that - We've got a new freezer in, but what in god's name can I do to keep from losing out $2000 in cow and pig?

Shadow_Ferret
10-21-2008, 09:39 PM
Cook it all, then freeze it.

Yeshanu
10-21-2008, 09:42 PM
Did it ALL thaw out completely? And if so, how cold is it, especially the stuff in the centre of the freezer.

The main reason we're told you can't refreeze meat is that the cells break down. When you thaw it again, the bacteria are able to get in that much faster.

I'd check it all. Anything that's still super cold, and not quite thawed, would go back in the freezer.

If it's thawed all the way through, but still quite cold, cook it immediately, then freeze the cooked meat as TV dinners. Anything that's started to warm up should be tossed.

Yes, others well tell you that to be perfectly safe, you should throw it all away, but the above is what I'd do, and have done, without ill effects.

But haste is needed. Sorry about your freezer. That really sucks.

maestrowork
10-21-2008, 09:42 PM
$2000 worth of meat? /* stops before saying something obscene */

But like Ferret said, cook it all and freeze it.

Seaclusion
10-21-2008, 09:42 PM
You can refreeze it as long as it didn't get above about 40 degrees or so while it was thawed.

ETA: anything that got above 40 degrees can be eaten if it is cooked thouroughly and was not above 40 degrees for too long

Richard

Fenika
10-21-2008, 09:43 PM
How badly thawed is it? What's a little freezer burn when you're talking 2k of food. Cook the best cuts, enjoy, and salvage the rest by freezing it now. (Unless ofc, someone has better advice for you)

btw, what the heck kinda freezer thaws out in a few hours? You sure the bottom isn't still frozen?

Williebee
10-21-2008, 09:43 PM
I fioresee a barbecue in your neighborhood.

Fenika
10-21-2008, 09:44 PM
Wow, massive cross posts

Haggis
10-21-2008, 09:53 PM
If you kept the door closed on the dead freezer, there shouldn't be too much problem with any of the meat. If you took it out and left it in room temperature, I expect you'll be eating well tonight.

Yeshanu
10-21-2008, 09:54 PM
You could invite us all for supper... :D

willfulone
10-21-2008, 09:55 PM
Wow - Sorry that happened Bart. And, you CAN refreeze what has not fully thawed and gone over certain temps. You can cook all (if you feel safest) and then freeze the cooked stuff and eat nuked.

You have not lost all I do not think. I do think that it takes more than a few hours to fully defrost and thaw all in a storage freezer (versus a frig freezer). My folks had no problem getting a freezer within a few hours and salvaging all by tossing into the new freezer. Of course, as soon as caught they packed bags of ice from the local mart into the dead one until the new could be delivered in the next couple hours.

Good luck man!

Christine

Darzian
10-21-2008, 10:02 PM
2000 US Dollars?

Was this, like, in advance for a YEAR OR MORE????

James81
10-21-2008, 10:13 PM
You could fashion all the meat into a giant meat sweater and pants, charge people in your town $1 to throw things at the crazy meat-clothed guy, and recoup a good chunk of your money and have a little fun.

The only person losing here is the cow.

NeuroFizz
10-21-2008, 10:21 PM
If, as a worst case you can't salvage it, you could donate it to a shelter or several shelters and possibly get a tax write-off.

vixey
10-21-2008, 10:25 PM
We'll serve it for dinner tonight in the Royal Thread.

Seriously, Neuro has a good point. We've taken meat to the shelter before. And though they've likely already prepared (at least a menu) dinner for tonight, anyone who's used to cooking for a large crowd will know what to do.

Another thought: We lost all our frozen food during a hurricane a few years ago. Our insurance company paid for it all (about $400) and it didn't go against the deductible. If you don't own your house, do you have renter's insurance? It's worth a phone call even if the answer is 'no'.

CaroGirl
10-21-2008, 10:30 PM
The same thing happened to my parents when I was a kid, only a lot worse. My parents had bought a half a cow--packaged into all its various cuts--and stored it in our downstairs freezer where we ate away at it, bit by bit through the year. One day, my dad decided to recharge his golf-cart battery by accidently unplugging the freezer and plugging in the golf cart. No one even realized the freezer was unplugged until someone went down to get something and opened it. The stench of rotting flesh was incredible. Whenever I watch CSI or the movie Se7en, I recall the smell, for the sake of verisimilitude.

I don't know how much money they lost, but the freezer continued to stink for quite some time.

You've got some great advice here and I don't think I can add anything. Best luck with your meat.

Del
10-21-2008, 10:32 PM
I'd refreeze it. Then use it all as fast as I could. I think it is subject to freezer burn the second time, which is bad, but it takes a while.

In any case...I'm still alive. :)


You have to watch a freezer. I took some orange juice out of my grandmothers freezer. My dad put in in there, I know because he dated it. It was 20 years old.

Kitrianna
10-21-2008, 10:36 PM
Like everyone else told you. Check it out. No sense assuming that it's all gone to waste. I've lost hydro in a fridge freezer for the better part of the day and not had everything thaw out, so I can only assume that you have something in there that can be salvaged, if not quite a bit.

NeuroFizz has an awesome idea for the stuff you can't save. Even if it's not a tax write off, it's till a great thing to do and will make alot of people happy and full! :)

Best of luck.

CaroGirl
10-21-2008, 10:42 PM
Like everyone else told you. Check it out. No sense assuming that it's all gone to waste. I've lost hydro in a fridge freezer for the better part of the day and not had everything thaw out, so I can only assume that you have something in there that can be salvaged, if not quite a bit.

NeuroFizz has an awesome idea for the stuff you can't save. Even if it's not a tax write off, it's till a great thing to do and will make alot of people happy and full! :)

Best of luck.
Translation (for you non-Canadians out there in Interweb Land): hydro = electricity :)

shyne
10-21-2008, 10:45 PM
Um...where's the beef?

Kitrianna
10-21-2008, 10:49 PM
Translation (for you non-Canadians out there in Interweb Land): hydro = electricity :)

Oh Caro, let them suffer and think something else. :tongue And I happen to be one of those non-Canadians...sort of. :)

tjwriter
10-21-2008, 10:50 PM
I managed to leave the door open on our upright freezer for the better part of a day, and only lost the stuff right at the front of the unit. We divided the thawed, but usable stuff between us and hubby's cousin next door. Most of the contents were still frozen solid.

Said freezer is now making a funny noise and I think it may be dying. Most of our meat is in there, but I can't move it to the fridge's freezer until we get the huge 18lb ham out of there. However, when I checked last night, everything was frozen solid. I'm guessing we have 24 hours so long to get things moved (until tonight in other words) if we keep the door closed. It's packed pretty full, so I think the contents should stay cold.

NeuroFizz
10-21-2008, 10:53 PM
Another place (places) you could take the non-freezable meat is to local fire stations. My neighbor donates some of the geese he shoots to one of the nearby stations each year. Their budgets are just as tight as every other non-administrative agency in the local government. But there may be strange rules for such donations in some places.

Susie
10-21-2008, 11:01 PM
Hope you get to keep at least a big part of it, Bart.

Yeshanu
10-21-2008, 11:22 PM
You have to watch a freezer. I took some orange juice out of my grandmothers freezer. My dad put in in there, I know because he dated it. It was 20 years old.

:roll:

My kids are afraid of whatever I keep in my freezer...

stormie
10-21-2008, 11:24 PM
If you're going to donate it, I'm sure you won't do what my MIL used to do--she'd donate perishables that hadn't been refrigerated properly (like left on her back porch on 55+ degree F. days.) I used to picture all these people, so hungry, eating her homemade raviolis and then being so sick for days afterward. She thought she was doing a good deed.

Anyway, if the meat is still cold, cook it all and refrigerate. Eat it or distribute it within two to three days. Did you go to a sight about beef, such as http://www.beef.org/ ? That might help you.

Bartholomew
10-22-2008, 03:26 AM
I think we salvaged MOST of it. Thanks to the posters who gave me temperatures. It was really helpful.

And, yes, $2000 of meat. We buy meat for the whole year (and then some.)