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Jennifer D
03-23-2006, 05:51 AM
I fear the subtitle for my heading should be "Oh crap!"

I put 2 pounds of frozen stew meat (still wrapped from the store) out to thaw last night around 7 or 7:30. Yes - on the counter [I know - only thaw in the fridge - but nothing ever thaws in the fridge for me in 24 hours or less.....]

Totally forgot to put it in the fridge overnight. And then overslept by 2 1/2 hours this morning (unprecedented - think it was an antihistamine I took last night).

So the meat was out until about 7:20 this morning, when I rushed down and put it in the fridge.

Definitely seems thawed - - although the counter wasn't "bloody"......

So is it a loss? Can I use the meat or do I just have to toss it? [I've got a 2 year old eating so I wouldn't want to take any chances....]

Sigh

EmilyK
03-23-2006, 06:09 AM
[I've got a 2 year old eating so I wouldn't want to take any chances....]
I think you answered your own question here.

We have great success quickly thawing anything frozen if you put it in a container of cold water and put it in the fridge. DH explained the thermodynamics of why this works, but I couldn't begin to explain it here. :o

Hammster
03-23-2006, 07:17 AM
I fear the subtitle for my heading should be "Oh crap!"

I put 2 pounds of frozen stew meat (still wrapped from the store) out to thaw last night around 7 or 7:30. Yes - on the counter [I know - only thaw in the fridge - but nothing ever thaws in the fridge for me in 24 hours or less.....]

Totally forgot to put it in the fridge overnight. And then overslept by 2 1/2 hours this morning (unprecedented - think it was an antihistamine I took last night).

So the meat was out until about 7:20 this morning, when I rushed down and put it in the fridge.

Definitely seems thawed - - although the counter wasn't "bloody"......

So is it a loss? Can I use the meat or do I just have to toss it? [I've got a 2 year old eating so I wouldn't want to take any chances....]

Sigh

Read this thread (http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?t=87433&highlight=Thaw+food) about thawing chicken.

There were a few of us who thaw overnight in the sink. I think your meat is safe for use.

But if you are concerned about the welfare of your little one, by all means follow your instincts. :)

Gumbeaux
03-23-2006, 07:27 AM
Toss the meat. The USDA says that it's not safe to eat.

The link below is what the USDA says about thawing.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Big_Thaw/index.asp



.

Lillith
03-23-2006, 07:29 AM
I read somewhere that as long as the thawed meat is still cool to the touch it's safe to use.

DCook
03-23-2006, 07:39 AM
We have great success quickly thawing anything frozen if you put it in a container of cold water and put it in the fridge.

Agreed, this is the best compromise. I used to do in-water-on-the-counter but it works just as good in-water-in-the-fridge, and its safer

Although I've NEVER been sick from the counter method

funniegrrl
03-23-2006, 08:13 AM
I'm not squeamish about things like this, I thaw meat on the counter with no qualms. HOWEVER ... number one, I'm not cooking for children or the elderly or anyone with an iffy immune system. Number two, if I'm not ready to use it when it is 90% thawed, it goes in the fridge; 12 on the counter is longer than even I would feel comfortable with.

aggie94
03-23-2006, 10:09 AM
Was it still COLD? If so, it's fine.

Gumbeaux
03-23-2006, 10:17 AM
The meat could be very cold but still unsafe to eat. The following is a quote from the USDA site.

"Foods are safe indefinitely while frozen. However, as soon as food begins to defrost and become warmer than 40 F, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to multiply."

aggie94
03-23-2006, 10:28 AM
True, but I think the rule of thumb is 4 hours between 40 and 140. So if it's colder than 40, it's still fine. The fact that she said the meat "seems" thawed led me to believe that it was still really cold, maybe even partially still frozen. If that's the case, it's fine to eat. If it were at room temperature, then definitely throw it away.

EmilyK
03-23-2006, 10:33 AM
How can we really define what temperature is "it feels cold"? To me, 45 degrees would probably still feel cold, but that is in the danger zone.

If you're cooking food for a small child, it's best to play it safe. Period. I've had food poisoning and it's not fun and would be particularly dangerous to a child.

aggie94
03-23-2006, 10:55 AM
I do agree that if you have to ask, you should probably just toss it.