Defrosting food

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An unusual but safe way to defrost food.

Food should be thoroughly defrosted before cooking unless the food manufacturer’s instructions tell tell you to cook from frozen.

If food is not completely defrosted, there is a danger that the centre of the food may not reach a safe cooking temperature and potentially harmful bacteria that is normally killed by the cooking process could still remain.

Methods used to defrost food

  • If you have enough time, place food in the fridge and allow it to defrost naturally. This way the defrosted food is stored at a safe temperature.
  • Some foods can be place in a colander and defrosted by by placing under cold running water. This will gradually defrost the food and keep it at a safe temperature. Clean and disinfect the sink once defrosting is complete.
  • Food can be defrosted in a microwave oven using the defrost setting. Consult the manufacturers instructions for defrosting times.
  • Some normal ovens have a defrost setting that utilises the internal fan to circulate warm air over the food. Food defrosted in this manner should be placed in te a cool place once it has been defrosted because harmful bacteria can easily grow on food in such warm conditions.
  • Food can be defrosted by covering and leaving out at room temperature. Food defrosted in this manner should be placed in te a cool place once it has been defrosted because harmful bacteria can easily grow on food in such warm conditions.


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