Defrosting Meat Safely

Uncontrolled methods of defrosting may lead to food borne illnesses. Raw meat, egg products, poultry or any variety of perishable foods should be kept at safe temperatures during the thaw. While frozen, they are safe for an unlimited period of time. However, when the temperature goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the bacteria that were present in the meat before freezing starts to multiply.


You can thaw the food by any one of three methods: in refrigerator, in microwave and in cold water.

Thawing in the refrigerator

Since a longer length of time is required for this process, it is better to plan ahead before starting it. A large chunk of meat may take a full day (24 hours) to thaw. When thawing by this method, a few points should be kept in mind:

✦     Some zones in the refrigerator could be colder than others

✦     Food kept at 35 degrees Fahrenheit could take longer to thaw than at 40 degrees Fahrenheit

Refrigerator thawed food can be safely refrozen if it is not cooked, but there can be a loss of quality.

Thawing in microwave

If you thaw meat in a microwave, cook it quickly after thawing, as a few areas of the food could become warm and start to cook during thawing. Such partially cooked food is a prime environment for bacteria to multiply. It is recommended that you cook immediately after thawing.

Thawing in cold water

This is quicker than thawing in a refrigerator and slower than a microwave, but needs sufficient attention. The food needs to be in a plastic bag or any leak proof bag. In case the bag leaks, bacteria from the immediate environment will enter the food. The meat may also absorb water, creating a watery product.

The bag must be submerged in cold water and the water must be changed at 30 minutes’ intervals so that the thawing continues. Small meat packages will thaw in one hour or less. A meat weighing four pounds should take about three hours.

Author Bio:

The Meat Boutique offers a wide range of beef, lamb, chicken, pork and game cuts as well as fruits and vegetables to the Sydney metropolitan area. Free delivery is offered for orders over $100.

They specialise in corporate meat orders and can cover all your bbq requirements, as well as seasonal needs such as your Christmas turkey or turducken.

For information about their range of products and to find out how you can order meat online in Sydney, visit: