refreezing frozen veggie "meats" and other veg food?
ok, my mom plans on cleaning out her freezer of veg "meats" and "cheeses" and shipping them to me (her logic is that it's pretty darn cold out right now so the food will stay plenty chilled during shipping). i assume it will probably be mostly if not completely thawed by the time it gets to me (less than 24 hours for shipping). however, I certainly can't EAT it all at once. so my question is, is it safe to refreeze a second time?
The main problems with refreezing would be ice formation and possible bacterial growth. If it's partially or fully defrosted, you could get ice crystals once you re-freeze that could affect the texture, especially if it's got enough moisture in it (I've had this happen with Daiya cheese). If it's something breaded, then the breading could get moist and it won't be as good even when heated.
The other thing is bacteria; some frozen products will display the warning "once defrosted, do not refreeze." It's because you could have bacterial growth while defrosting, and sticking it back in the freezer doesn't kill them. The next time you eat it, more will grow and overall it increases the risk of food poisoning (not much of a problem if you cook your frozen food, but some things like frozen deli 'meat' or fake cheese might not get cooked).
That being said... I'd do it, and have done so.
Another option is to make something cooked with the items, killing the bacteria, and then freeze it. I have done that type of plan when I had a freezer die and we could not possibly eat things before they spoiled. I am with FB, if it seems like quality will not suffer too bad, I would just refreeze it and be careful to cook completely when I use it.