Food & Drink3 mins ago
Just to add and help pasterfreak. Ready meals are chilled very quickly to stop any bacteria in its tracks, then they BLAST FROZEN very quickly. Your bog standard fride / freezer is not made for this job. Freezing it in your freezer takes to long compared to a commercial one.
Fresh meat does offten get frozen twice also, but again with the right equipment to do such.
Take pork sausage for an example. Frozen pork is offten imported, thawed out to make sausage, then blast frozen again, and sold on has frozen sausage. Same with beef sausage or any other product.
I wouldn't have defrosted it until I needed it in the first place.
But if you are in that situation then I agree with cooking it first to be on the safe side. I'm no expert but I think quality probably deteriorates with each freezing. Whereas it's common practice for home cooks to cook meals in advance & freeze.
After 12 years in a kitchen, and food safety courses every 3-4 years...I do have some idea of proper practice.
But I came across this on another site...corrected a person who said it was ok. It was an American forum...and Google took me to numerous American sites that said it was ok. So I checked UK Food Standards Agency...to make sure I wasn't going crazy 🤔😉😊...and found I wasn't.
From the website of the Food Standards Agency:
"The cold temperatures of a domestic freezer (-18°C) delay chemical reactions within foods and put any bacteria that may be present on pause. The bacteria are still alive, but they stop growing or producing toxins.
The bacteria haven't been killed, and they may be revived as the food defrosts. Defrost food in the fridge to prevent it sitting in between 8 - 63 degrees centigrade, which is the Danger Zone. Between these temperatures the bacteria may grow and make you ill.
It is also the reason why we advise foods can't be refrozen if they are accidentally defrosted, unless they are cooked first. If the food has been defrosted it must be cooked before being eaten to be safe. Once defrosted, foods should be consumed within 24 hours."