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Defrosting food safely is one of the measures to follow to reduce the risk of food poisoning that affects you and your family. Thawing food on the counter is one of the worst food safety mistakes you can be making.
Food must be kept at a safe temperature while defrosting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that bacteria can multiply rapidly in food if left at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone” between 40 ° F and 140 ° F.
Thawing food on the kitchen counter, in hot water, or outside can make your food unsafe to eat. Perishable foods should never be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is warm, over 90 ° F.
It is important that from time to time you check the temperature of your refrigerator, it may not be set at the right temperature to keep your food safe.
Safe ways to defrost meat
The safest way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator. You can also do it in cold water and in the microwave.
In the refrigerator, ground beef, stew meat, and steaks can be defrosted in one day. The larger the piece of meat, the longer it will take to defrost. Bone-in parts and whole roasts may take 2 days or more.
Once the meat is thawed, it will be safe in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. During this time, if for some reason you don’t cook the meat, you can re-freeze it.
Thaw the meat in cold water. Do not remove the meat from the packaging, make sure it is airtight or place the package in a bag. Dip the meat in cold water; You should change the water every 30 minutes so that it continues to thaw.
Small packages of beef can be thawed using cold water in an hour or less; a 3-4 pound cut can take 2-3 hours.
To defrost in the microwave, You must consult the instructions indicated by the manufacturer of the device in the manual.
The food thawed by the cold water method or in the microwave should be cooked immediately after defrosting. Some areas of food can become hot and begin to cook during microwave defrosting.
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