When I was a teenager, my mother was out one Saturday so I made tea (that's an evening meal in these parts). Saturday was the only day we didn't have a cooked meal, but bought an uncut loaf from Skeltons* and had that, sliced with cooked meat on. So that's what I did, and on this particular day we had chicken in the fridge. I cut the bread as straight as I could in order to avoid the criticisms and complaints that came with 'door stops', and put the chicken on, then placed them on the hob and covered them with tea towels ready for when everyone got home. I didn't fancy chicken, so I put myself a pastie in the oven. Anyway, my mother gets home and sees what I have done and went absolutely ape at me! I'd had the oven on with cooked meat on the top and now she was suddenly yelling at me that I'm stupid and that you can't reheat cooked meat and she has to throw it all away now and I've wasted all that food! For once I actually tried to stick up for myself and said I was sorry but I just didn't know that. She replied by yelling at me that 'everyone knows that'. I tried again, telling her I was sorry, but no-one had ever told me, the answer to which was that 'everyone knows that. It's common sense.' So after that performance, I didn't dare reheat anything, or refreeze anything.
Now, of course, I'm trying to be Ish and decided a year ago that I wasn't buying any more ready meals and I would make my own from left overs, or by cooking extra at meal times. That meant I had to learn the rules:
- you can freeze fresh meat once, but once thawed you can't re-freeze,
- you can cook the meat then freeze it, but once thawed you can't re-freeze it,
- after you have cooked meat, you can reheat it once, but never again.
I'm happy to stick to the rules, but I want to know WHY?
WHY can't I refreeze? WHY can't I reheat more than once?
I would have thought that reheating would kill any germs, so what's the problem?
Please can one of you wonderful people clear this up for me?
*Another little story attached to the bread from Skellies: my mother used to always ask for a 'cob', meaning one of the round loaves. Then, my sister got a job in Skeltons when she left school and told my mother that the proper name for the round loaf is 'fadge'. From that day onwards, for about 20 years until the shop shut, my mother went in Skeltons every Saturday and asked for a 'fadge'.