dark overlay
nav button USDA Logo

FSIS

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Actions
Loading...

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Actions
Loading...

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Actions
Loading...

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Actions
Loading...

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Actions
Loading...

Script: The Big Thaw

 

Podcasts
Script: The BIG Thaw
Intro:
Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety at home podcast series. These podcasts were designed with you in mind - the consumer - who purchases and prepares meat, poultry and processed meat, egg products for your family and friends.

Each episode will bring you a different food safety topic ranging from safe storage, handling, and preparation of meat, poultry and processed egg products to the importance of keeping foods safe during a power outage.

So sit back, turn up the volume and listen in.


Narrator:
Welcome to “Food Safety at Home.” I’m Jeff White with the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Today’s topic is thawing meat and poultry safely. Let’s listen-in as two friends discuss their upcoming dinner party.

Party Guest:
Have you received all the RSVPs for the dinner party?

Party Narrator:
Yes, we’re expecting nine guests tomorrow evening.

Party Guest:
That’s wonderful! I am really looking forward to seeing everyone. Do you have everything you need?

Party Narrator:
Yes, I have the chicken safely thawing in the refrigerator and I finished the food shopping this afternoon.

Party Guest:
When did you take the chicken out of the freezer?

Party Narrator:
This morning.

Party Guest:
Oh, I don’t think it will be thawed by tomorrow. Isn’t it an eight pound chicken?

Party Narrator:
You might be right! It’s still as hard as a rock. What am I going to do? (pause) I know… I’ll put it on the counter overnight. It’ll thaw by morning.

Party Guest:
I don’t know if that’s such a safe idea.

Party Narrator:
Why? My Mom used to do it all the time.

Party Guest:
Don’t you remember what your friend Frank, the chef said? He was always talking about cooking and handling food safely. As a matter of fact he gave you the USDA “Is it Done yet?” magnet on the refrigerator.

Party Narrator:
That’s right. The magnet shows the safe minimum internal temperatures for meat, poultry and fish and lists a toll-free number for USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-674-6854. Let’s call them to find out how to thaw the chicken safely and in time for the party.

Party Guest:
Go ahead. Give them a call.

Hotline:
Good afternoon, Meat and Poultry Hotline, may I help you?

Party Narrator:
I need to thaw an eight pound chicken in time to cook for a dinner party tomorrow night. I‘ve had it in the refrigerator over night but it’s still as hard as a rock.

Hotline:
An eight pound chicken could take up to three days to thaw in the refrigerator. Even small amounts of frozen food, such as a pound of ground meat or boneless chicken breasts can take a whole day to thaw.

Party Narrator:
Oh no, that won’t do. I need to cook it tomorrow!

Hotline:
Don’t worry, there are other options. The chicken, or any other meat for that matter, can be thawed in cold water. This method requires more attention, but it’s quicker. Just fill a clean sink with cold water and, keeping the chicken in its original packaging, submerge it. Change the water every thirty minutes. It’ll take only a few hours to thaw, and remember, you should cook it immediately after thawing by the cold water method.

Party Narrator:
What are the other options?

Hotline:
The chicken can be thawed in the microwave, as long as it fits. Check the owners’ manual for the recommended size of chicken for your microwave. But remember, as soon as it’s thawed, it should go right into the oven. This applies to other meats as well.

The very last option would be to cook the chicken while it’s still frozen.

Party Narrator:
Frozen?

Hotline:
Yes, it’s safe to cook a frozen chicken or any other frozen meat, but it will take up to fifty percent longer than, when fully thawed. For the chicken, remember to remove the giblet package during the cooking time. Remove it carefully with tongs or a fork. The chicken’s done when it reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of one hundred and sixty- five degrees Fahrenheit, as measured with a food thermometer. Check the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh, the wing and the thickest part of the breast.

Party Narrator:
Wonderful! Our dinner party won’t be ruined! Thanks!

Party Guest:
What a great party, the food’s excellent!

Party Narrator:
Thank you. I was lucky enough to speak to the specialist at the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. She helped me with a safe, quick way to thaw the chicken. If it weren’t for her great advice, this bird might still be frozen!

Narrator:
You can find this information and much more by visiting the FSIS Web site at: www.fsis.usda.gov. Or visit our virtual representative “Ask Karen” at askkaren.gov.
That’s askkaren.gov.

Narrator2:
Consumers may also call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.

Narrator:
That’s it for this week. We’ve been talking about thawing meat and poultry safely. I’m Jeff White. Thanks for joining us for this episode of “Food Safety at Home.” And remember, “Be Food Safe.”


Outro:
Well, that's all for this time. Thanks for joining us today for another episode of food safety at home!

For answers to your food safety questions call USDA's toll-free Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. That's 1-888-674-6854.

You can also get answers to food safety questions online from our virtual representative "Ask Karen" at askkaren.gov .

Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending your comments to podcast@fsis.usda.gov.
Thanks for tuning in.
Last Modified Nov 08, 2013