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Food Safety Focus (202nd Issue, May 2023)– Article 3

Frozen Processed Foods – Can I Eat Them Directly after Defrosting?

Recently, it was suggested in an online discussion group that frozen pizzas tasted better when eaten defrosted without reheating.

Frozen processed foods are not necessarily ready to eat after defrosting. Even though some frozen pizzas have browned crust, frozen meat patties have grill marks, or others have traits that are visually associated with cooked food, the sheer look of the frozen products cannot guarantee that they are ready to serve after defrosting. While these food products might have been partially cooked in factories to shorten preparation time at home, the process might not be hot enough to thoroughly cook the foods and eliminate all disease-causing bacteria. Some bacteria not killed by the partial cooking process can survive freezing, and only thorough cooking can kill them.

Therefore, when purchasing and preparing frozen processed food, one should read the labels and follow the preparation instructions closely, including cooking time and temperature, in order to make the food safe to eat.