Food Safety Issues/refreezing


my freezer was unplugged for 4 days.Can I refreeze tomatoes that I pureed that are now liquid, same with pumpkin, peppers,jam, and zuchini? Or are they not even good to use asap? everything was still cold, just thawed out. thank you

Hi Lori,

All of the food items you mentioned, except for the tomatoes and jam, are considered potentially hazardous foods. Pumpkin, peppers and zucchini have a pH above 4.6 and needs to be kept below 41 degrees to be considered safe to consume.  Since you said the food items were cold but fully defrosted, the temperature of the pumpkin, peppers and zucchini was probably above 41 degrees F.  Foods with a pH above 4.6 can support the growth of harmful bacteria if left in the "Danger Zone" - 41 to 135 degrees for an extended period of time.  Therefore I would pitch these food items.

Since you said that the pureed tomatoes and jam were thawed but still cold, and since these foods have a pH below 4.6 and are not considered potentially hazardous foods, they can be used asap and should be safe to consume.

Of course if you have any doubt about the safety or quality of the foods it is best to throw them out instead of taking a chance.

Happy New Year.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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