Food Safety Issues/sauerkraut balls


hi there. I have a whole bag of homemade uncooked sauerkraut balls that were frozen, then were accidently thawed out completely. my question is can i re freeze them or can i possibly deep fry them and re freeze them. Is there any way to save them?

Hi Sarah,

When you say accidently thawed out I assume you mean they were thawed in the refrigerator.  If so, the balls can be refrozen and used at a future time.  The quality of the product will probably not be the same as never thawed ones, but as long as they were defrosted in the refrigerator they can be safely refrozen.

Now....if they were defrosted at room temperature, then we have a different situation.  If they were partially defrosted -- ice crystals were present which indicate that the balls are still below 41 degrees F -- then they can be deep fried and consumed or refrozen.  Again, the quality will probably not be up to your standards but they should be safe.

However...if they were defrosted at room temperature and there was no sign of ice crystals, then the recommendation is to pitch the balls.  Because saurekraut balls typcially contain eggs, cream cheese and other perishable foods that must be kept either hot or cold for safe consumption, if they were at room temperature then they should be pitched for safety.

Here's hoping that your balls were defrosted in the refrigerator or still contained ice crystals.


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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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