Defrosting - Food Standards Agency

Defrosting - Food Standards Agency

SAFE METHOD: DEFROSTING Harmful bacteria can grow in food that is not defrosted properly. SAFETY POINT Food should be thoroughly defrosted before coo...

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SAFE METHOD:

DEFROSTING Harmful bacteria can grow in food that is not defrosted properly. SAFETY POINT Food should be thoroughly defrosted before cooking (unless the manufacturer’s instructions tell you to cook from frozen or you have a proven safe method).

WHY?

HOW DO YOU DO THIS?

If food is still frozen or partially frozen, it will take longer to cook.

Do you check food is thoroughly defrosted before cooking?

The outside of the food could be cooked, but the centre might not be, which means it could contain harmful bacteria.

Yes  If not, what do you do?

OPTIONS FOR DEFROSTING FOOD 1. Ideally, plan ahead to leave enough time and space to defrost small amounts of food in the fridge.

Putting food in the fridge will keep it at a safe temperature while it is defrosting.

Do you use this method? Yes 

2. If you cannot defrost food in the fridge, you could put it in a container and then place it under cold running water.

Cold water will help to speed up defrosting without allowing the outside of the food to get too warm.

Do you use this method? Yes 

3.Raw meat and poultry (including large joints and whole birds), should not be defrosted under cold running water unless they are in a sealed container. For more information: food.gov.uk/news-updates/ campaigns/campylobacter/actnow

Harmful bacteria could be spread, contaminating sinks, taps and surfaces.

How do you defrost raw meat and poultry?

4. If you use the sink to defrost some foods, make sure the sink is clean and empty. The sink should be cleaned and then disinfected after being used for defrosting.

Cold water will help speed up defrosting.

Do you use this method? Yes 

Food Standards Agency l food.gov.uk/sfbb

How much time do you allow for defrosting?

Which foods do you defrost in this way?

Which foods do you defrost in this way?

SAFETY POINTS

WHY?

HOW DO YOU DO THIS

5. Or you could defrost food in the microwave on the ‘defrost’ setting.

This is a fast way to defrost food.

6. If necessary you could defrost food at room temperature. Follow the manufacturer’s defrosting instructions. Food should be left out at room temperature for the shortest time possible. Ideally, defrost these foods in the fridge.

Foods will defrost quite quickly at room temperature, but harmful bacteria could grow in food if it gets too warm while defrosting.

Do you use this method? Yes  Which foods do you defrost in this way?

7. If you have another method of defrosting, write the details here:

Do you use this method? Yes  Which foods do you defrost in this way?

Which foods do you defrost in this way?

THINK TWICE! Keep meat/poultry separate from other food when it is defrosting, to prevent cross-contamination. Once food has been defrosted you should use it immediately (within one day).

CHECK IT When you think food has defrosted, it is important to check to make sure.

WHY? The outside may look defrosted but the inside could still be frozen.

HOW DO YOU DO THIS? Check for ice crystals in the food using your hand or a skewer. Do you use this check?  Yes 

With birds, check the joints are flexible. Do you use this check?  Yes 

If you use another check, write the details here:

WHAT TO DO IF THINGS GO WRONG

HOW TO STOP THIS HAPPENING AGAIN

• If food has not fully defrosted, continue to defrost the food until no ice crystals are left. Test again before cooking or reheating.

• Change your defrosting method and make it safer, e.g. defrost smaller amounts.

• Speed up the defrosting process e.g. by using cold water or a microwave (see the front of this sheet).

• Train staff again on this safe method.

• Use an alternative menu item. If you do not have time to defrost for longer, replace the dish with a similar dish that is ready to serve.

• Make sure you allow enough time to defrost. • Improve staff supervision. • If you defrost lots of food in your business you may wish to consider creating extra fridge space or using a special defrosting cabinet.

Write down what went wrong and what you did about it in your diary. Food Standards Agency l food.gov.uk/sfbb