Monday, April 20, 2009

Defrosting Food Safely

I've been hanging onto this link for years and ran across it again although I've been putting the information in practice for nearly a decade now.

In my last position at a large Minnesota-based Mining and Manufacturing company that I won't name, I was in the food microbiology products area - a lonely little chemist in a microbiology patch so to speak. The group made products that helped in quantifying the number and types of microbles that were making a meal of your meal before you did. My personal job was developing a label that would change color when refrigerated food was at the end of it's shelf-life. This involved monitoring both the time and temperture and performing a nonlinear integration. But that's a story for another day. The point here was that the group knew quite a bit about food safety, so that's why this I know of this paper, which addresses the classic question: should I thaw frozen meat in the fridge or on the counter top?

The correct answer is the counter top, even though the popular press (supported by misinformation from the FDA) uses the "common sense" approach and says use the fridge. Too bad the data doesn't support that.

I've met Pete Snyder and he is an impressive guy - hardnosed and no-nonsense when it comes to regulation and doing the right thing as opposed to trusting in the regulations.

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