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Feb 21, 2013 01:31 PM

Safe? Thawing in frozen meat in vac-pack on counter for 12 hours?

My coworker thinks that because frozen meat is in vac-pack from the store, it's safe to take a 2 pound frozen chunk of meat, wrap in towel, and leave on the counter for 12 hours.

Is that really safe?

Does the vac-pack prevent bad bacteria on the outside of the roast from multiplying, just because the center is still frozen?

Does bad bacteria require oxygen to grow?

I'm under the impression it would be safer to immerse the frozen roast (in vac pac) in warm water for 30 or 40 minutes until thawed.

Any citations that might convince my coworker?


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  1. Botulinum is anerobic. It is not advisable to leave meat vacuum-sealed at room temperature for an extended time.

    1 Reply
    1. Really depends on what the exterior temperature and if it warms to an unsafe temperature, the length of time it is held there.
      Definitely not "best practice"

      1. Either defrost slowly in a refrigerated environment or quickly in a sink of cold water and then refrigerate

        2 Replies
          1. re: 1POINT21GW

            I agree.

            I was really surprised at my coworker who is older, and supposed to be smarter. He prides himself on watching cooking shows and knowing his way around the kitchen.

            Leaving a vac pac frozen roast out on the counter for 12 hours seems like madness!!!

            I really like the likes above from GH1618