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Tips for Safely Defrosting Frozen Food

June 5, 2018
frozen cherry

Knowing how to defrost frozen food is more of an art than common knowledge. It is, however, knowledge that matters in the food industry. There are safety measures involved and if you are Texas Food Handler certified, you will have knowledge that keeps your patrons safe.

Here are four tips about defrosting frozen food that you can learn before you become Texas Food Handler certified with Certified On The Fly.


1. Forget the Microwave

While many people may defrost their frozen foods in the microwave at home, in general, this is just not the safest practice. Yes, it is the quickest method of defrosting food and there is a defrost button on the microwave. When on the job, however, you must be precise and safe when defrosting food.

The risk you take with thawing frozen foods in a microwave is that uneven thawing may occur and this poses a huge food safety concern. Also, over thawing can occur and bacteria can quickly begin to grow and multiply. This not something you want to risk.

According to the USDA, when thawing food in a microwave, plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the thawing process. After thawing in the microwave, always cook the food immediately after.


2. Room Temperature is Never Acceptable

Never thaw foods on the kitchen counter or in open air anywhere. Certified On The Fly’s online Texas Food Handler certification course will teach you all about the Temperature Danger Zone. When your food reaches this zone, bacteria multiplies at an astounding rate, making it unsafe for your customers to eat.


3. Refrigeration Takes Time

One of the safest methods of defrosting frozen foods is to use the refrigerator. While this is the easiest and safest way to get the job done, it also is the most time-consuming, so planning ahead is crucial.

Even a pound of ground beef can take a full day to thaw, so planning ahead for your establishment is important. After thawing in the refrigerator, items such as ground meat, stew meat, poultry, and seafood should remain safe and good quality for an additional day or two before cooking; red meat cuts, such as beef, pork, or lamb roasts, chops and steaks, 3 to 5 days. Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, although the quality of the food may suffer.


4. Cold Water Defrosts Frozen Food Faster

This method is quicker but requires more attention on behalf of the food handler. To thaw food using this method, the food must be in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. The bag should then be submerged in cold tap water, and the water should be changed at least every 30 minutes so the food continues to thaw safely. This method may thaw a pound of beef in an hour or less, and a 3-to 4-pound package in about 2-3 hours. Once thawed, cook the food immediately. Foods thawed using cold water should be cooked fully before refreezing.


Get Certified in Food Safety Today!

If you work in the food service industry or handle food at your job in any way, then getting your Texas Food Handlers certificate is a must. In fact, it may be required by your county or municipality. With Certified On The Fly, you can get your food handler certification online fast. Our course has no quizzes, no test, and your official Texas Food Handler card will be automatically emailed to you when you finish. Enroll and start working today.

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