Will the ground beef be safe to eat?
July 5, 2011 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Sorry, another meat safety question. Tonight I took a pound of ground beef out of the freezer and put it straight into a bowl of slightly colder than room temperature water on the counter to defrost for an hour. It defrosted on the counter for an hour. Then I decided I wasn't hungry and put it into the fridge in the still sealed package. Will it be safe to cook tomorrow night?
posted by skjønn to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Totally fine.
posted by cooker girl at 7:55 PM on July 5, 2011

Yep, sounds fine.
posted by mauvest at 8:04 PM on July 5, 2011

Yes, it's fine. Cook it in the next couple of days.
posted by headspace at 8:06 PM on July 5, 2011

Yes. You properly defrosted it. The only issue I can see is if it was about to expire before you froze it, you'll want to use it sooner rather than later.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:10 PM on July 5, 2011

Normally I say dont risk it, but we've done this with no problem.
posted by crapmatic at 8:15 PM on July 5, 2011

I've done this many times. Sometimes, it doesn't work, but you'll clearly be able to tell by the color of the meat tomorrow. If it's grey, throw it away.
posted by Ruki at 8:20 PM on July 5, 2011

Yes it's fine and I usually side with "throw it out" in these threads. But yea, I'd use it tomorrow.
posted by cabingirl at 8:36 PM on July 5, 2011

Yes, but don't refreeze it, and use it tomorrow. And if you're as risk averse as I am, make sure that it's not, you know, medium-rare hamburgers you use it with. You're already living close to the edge with the (presumably) partial thaw.
posted by SMPA at 8:44 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't think it's a great idea. I am assuming it is warm and summer where you are. The FDA recommends thawing in cold water, not anything near room temperature, and then cooking immediately. However, when I look this up on a variety of Canadian websites (I'm Canadian), all the guidelines say only to thaw in water or air that is very cool - to keep the temperature below 4C - and to cook immediately. However, if you are using continuously running water and cooking immediately, they seem to let you go to 10C or so.

I'm not a huge fan of regular ground beef - I only buy organic from a single cow - so I may tend to be cautious. And I'm Canadian and read Canadian recommendations, which see more cautious too, so use that as you wish.

Also, it depends on who's going to be eating it. Elderly, young children, anyone with illnesses? Be more cautious there.
posted by acoutu at 10:18 PM on July 5, 2011

It was only out an hour? That's the key to me, if it had been overnight in the water I'd say no, but in the situation you describe, I'd eat it and I'm on the cautious side and currently pregnant.
posted by crabintheocean at 10:22 PM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

That bowl of slightly cooler than room temperature water would have dropped below 4°C pretty damn quick with a pound of frozen beef in it. What you've done is not different enough from a straight freezer->fridge move to cause you any grief.
posted by flabdablet at 12:09 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would certainly eat that with no qualms. At only an hour in the water it's still going to have been pretty cold even if the water started at room temperature.
posted by *becca* at 12:29 AM on July 6, 2011

I'm another cautious person and would eat it.
posted by deborah at 12:40 AM on July 6, 2011

I wouldn't think twice about eating it, and I'm another generally cautious person when it comes to food safety.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:31 AM on July 6, 2011


haha just kidding its going to be fine.
posted by Kololo at 5:40 AM on July 6, 2011

I would eat it too, assuming it didn't sit in your fridge for a week before you froze it. The amount of time it's safe to leave a chunk of meat in the fridge doesn't reset after freezing, it starts counting down from however long it was in the fridge before being frozen. Since I can never remember for certain whether something was frozen as soon as I got it home from the store, vs. after 2-3 days in the fridge when I realized I wasn't going to use it in time, I try to cook and eat thawed meat within the next day.
posted by vytae at 8:05 AM on July 6, 2011

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