Defrosting Food Safely

Monday, July 19, 2010

Frozen ChickenQuestion: Is it safe to defrost food out of the refrigerator?

 

Answer: No—there are several safe ways to defrost meats, but leaving them out on the countertop can potentially make you sick.

 

Bacteria thrive at temperatures between 41 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit—the exact temperature of your kitchen. Leaving meat out for numerous hours to defrost gives bacteria the perfect environment to grow to such high amounts that even cooking won’t necessarily destroy all of them (or the poisons they produce).

There are three ways safe ways to safely defrost food:

#1: Refrigerator

Please frozen food in the refrigerator the night before and place on a tray to catch any juices. If you are defrosting large foods (i.e. Thanksgiving turkey) or a lot of meats, put in the refrigerator a day or two beforehand.

#2: Running Water

Place food in the sink and let the cool water run over it. As meats, poultry and fish potentially carry bacteria, be sure dishes or other food isn’t in the sink at the same time. Thoroughly clean the sink when you are done defrosting your food. This method works well for smaller food items like frozen shrimp.

#3: Microwave

Food can be safely defrosted in the microwave. As the microwave unevenly distributes heat, leaving some parts of the food cold and others partially cooked, it’s important to cook the food right up (i.e. bake, grill) after defrosting in the microwave.

 

Filed under Ask Toby, Food Safety  |  Comments: more


28 Comments on “Defrosting Food Safely



Form builder Says:

I am doing research for my university paper, thanks for your helpful points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

- Laura



badmash Says:

I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?



tanadmin Says:

Hi Badmash,
Absolutely! Food safety is one of my favorite topics to write about. Is there any specific topic you are interested in?
Thanks for your comment.
-Toby



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