Does freezing destroy bacteria & parasites?

Updated on June 2, 2021

Does Freezing Raw Food Destroy Bacteria and Parasites?

The simple answer is it depends on the microbes present. Freezing to -18°C (0 °F) inactivates any microbes – bacteria, yeasts and molds – present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to food-borne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food. Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. If required, thorough cooking will destroy all parasites.

The key message here is you get out what you put in. If the meat was contaminated before freezing it, it will still be contaminated when thawed. That is why it is important to purchase your frozen meals for cats and dogs from registered manufacturers, as they have to, by law, comply with food safety standards.

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