A store of sliced ham in the freezer gives you a convenient supply of meat for topping sandwiches or serving on appetizer trays. Freezing also allows you to store the excess from a large package until you can use it, cutting down on food waste. You can safely refreeze ham slices if you thaw them correctly and follow basic food safety guidelines.
Proper defrosting allows you to refreeze sliced ham without any major food safety concerns. Defrost the sliced ham in the refrigerator so the meat stays at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Keep the ham wrapped tightly in it's original packaging or in a sealed container or bag so it isn't exposed to any illness-causing bacteria. Defrosting sliced ham at room temperature or in warm water makes it unsafe to eat or refreeze.
Airtight packaging helps eliminate freezer burn and safety concerns during freezing. If you open the package to remove some ham slices, seal it closed and place it in a freezer-safe zipper-top bag before refreezing so air or moisture doesn't come in contact with the meat during freezing. Label packages with the original date frozen, and mark it if you refreeze it. You should only refreeze the ham once to prevent a loss of flavor and texture quality.
Although taste and texture are important, food safety is the most vital concern when thawing and refreezing sliced meat. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before removing ham slices from the package so you don't transfer any illness-causing pathogens to the meat. You should refrigerate thawed ham for no more than 24 hours before refreezing, and it's better to refreeze the meat before it thaws completely when possible.
Deli-sliced, manufacturer-sliced and home-sliced ham all retain quality in the freezer for only one to two months from the initial date of freezing. If you thaw and refreeze the meat, include the initial frozen period into your used by date. For example, ham slices frozen for one month then thawed can be stored in the freezer for another one month period before they begin to lose quality. Once thawed, use the ham within three to five days or refreeze it within 24 hours.
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