Defrosting Food Safety Guidelines
When defrosting, use the refrigerator and plan ahead.
Leaving meat, poultry, or fish out on the counter is a big feast for bacteria. Although the meat is cold on the inside, the outside of your hamburger meat or chicken breast are now rising in temperature. Heat won’t necessarily kill all of those bacteria. Also, some bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium produce toxins and spores that are not heat sensitive. Cooking isn’t going to destroy them -meaning you are still at risk of having your family develop a stomach ache.
You can use water to defrost but ensure your package doesn’t have any leaks. Use cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. You still may be at risk for food borne illness as the surface of the meat is rising in temperature.
Planning ahead and placing the frozen item in the fridge is still ideal. If your chicken isn’t defrosted, just have a veggie dinner tonight; let the chicken continue to defrost in the fridge on a plate until the next day.
Written by Maggie LaBarbera
Written on Mar 15, 2012
Last updated on Oct 25, 2013