When was meat frozen and thawed again?

When was meat frozen and thawed again?



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What consumers should know about meat products

It is not clear to consumers whether meat products were frozen and later thawed again. Because the applicable regulations do not offer a clear orientation. Unpacked meat, minced meat or meat preparations that have been frozen or deep-frozen after they have been produced may only be offered for sale in the shop counter in a thawed or partially thawed state if the customer is informed about the freezing process, reports the Consumer Center Saxony. It is different with thawed meat, which is then chopped or marinated. This is exempt from the labeling requirement.

Packaged meat that has been frozen and thawed does not have to be labeled in any case. Consumers are often very unsure whether the meat in the refrigerator or at the service counter is actually fresh or whether it has been frozen after production. The Consumer Center Saxony therefore provides information on the labeling requirements for frozen and thawed meat, "because the applicable regulations on defrosting do not provide consumers with clear guidance," confirms Anne-Katrin Wiesemann from the Consumer Center Saxony.

In the case of packaged meat products, the "defrosted" notice is not always mandatory. The information only has to be found on the packaging if the further use is influenced by the freezing and later thawing. For example, the taste, safety or external appearance can be impaired. This is not the case with other foods such as butter, as freezing and thawing has no such effect on the product. As a result, butter does not have to be labeled “thawed”, the consumer advice center informs. In addition, the labeling obligation only applies to the respective product itself. As soon as the meat has been thawed and then further processed - for example, if it is marinated or chopped - the “thawed” notice is no longer mandatory.

Unwrapped meat that has been frozen and thawed must be labeled accordingly. “Unwrapped meat, minced meat or meat preparations that have been frozen or deep-frozen after production may only be sold in a thawed or partially thawed state if the previous freezing process is known. But here too, there is no obligation to provide information when processing the thawed ingredients, ”informs the consumer advice center.

In contrast, there is a clear rule for poultry meat: regardless of whether it is packaged or sold at the service counter, poultry meat must never be frozen and thawed again. This regulation also applies to so-called "preparations from fresh poultry meat" such as turkey steaks or poultry skewers.

Exception fish: certain fish products must be frozen An exception is fish, because certain fish products must be frozen for at least 24 hours at -20 degrees Celsius or a lower temperature to protect them from parasites. This applies to sprat, cold-smoked mackerel and sushi, among other things. However, the consumer is not informed of this. It is different if the fish is frozen and later thawed, not for health reasons, but for logistical reasons, as is the case with Pangasius from Asia. A note is mandatory here. (ag)

Image: Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

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