Why is it harmful to thaw frozen foods on the countertop?
Freezing foods does not kill microorganisms; it slows down their growth. When frozen foods are thawed at room temperature, the microorganisms are exposed to the "danger zone" in which they can multiply rapidly, thus contaminating the food. When thawing food, stick to the following procedures:
- Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator.
- Submerge frozen foods under running water at 70°F or below.
- Thaw frozen foods in the microwave.
- Frozen foods may be thawed during the cooking process.
Shannon Crosby, Dietetic Intern,
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009