Food Safety Issues/mincemeat


Is it safe to freeze and thaw mincemeat?

Hi John,

If you are talking about "real " mincemeat made with meat (*beef, elk, deer, etc.) suet and apples -- then if defrosted in the refrigerator and use within 2-3 days of defrosting -- then it is safe. Frozen mincemeat should be used within 3 months for highest quality, though if kept constantly frozen it is safe for a long time.  The quality of the product will decrease the longer it is kept in the freezer.

Canned mincemeat found in the grocery store is actually a mixture of apples and raisins with beef flavorings.  This type of mixture can be safely frozen and thawed as it is not a potentially hazardous food (meaning it doesn't support the growth of harmful bacteria).

Hope this answers your question.


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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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