Defrosting food

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An unusual but safe way to defrost food.

Food should be thoroughly defrosted before cooking unless the food manufacturerโ€™s instructions tell tell you to cook from frozen.

If food is not completely defrosted, there is a danger that the centre of the food may not reach a safe cooking temperature and potentially harmful bacteria that is normally killed by the cooking process could still remain.

Methods used to defrost food

  • If you have enough time, place food in the fridge and allow it to defrost naturally. This way the defrosted food is stored at a safe temperature.
  • Some foods can be place in a colander and defrosted by by placing under cold running water. This will gradually defrost the food and keep it at a safe temperature. Clean and disinfect the sink once defrosting is complete.
  • Food can be defrosted in a microwave oven using the defrost setting. Consult the manufacturers instructions for defrosting times.
  • Some normal ovens have a defrost setting that utilises the internal fan to circulate warm air over the food. Food defrosted in this manner should be placed in te a cool place once it has been defrosted because harmful bacteria can easily grow on food in such warm conditions.
  • Food can be defrosted by covering and leaving out at room temperature. Food defrosted in this manner should be placed in te a cool place once it has been defrosted because harmful bacteria can easily grow on food in such warm conditions.


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