Thinking about what to serve the family for dinner tomorrow?  How about those spare ribs or Cornish hens you’ve carefully stored in the freezer after your last visit to our Peacock Poultry Farm store.  Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Once you’ve made the decision on the main course there is still some planning involved before firing up the stove, oven or grill.

You may recall that guidelines published by the Food Market Institute ( remind us that freezing foods to 0-degrees F only inactivates but does not destroy bacteria, yeasts and molds that can be present in foods.  Once a frozen food item is thawed these microbes can become active once more and, under the right conditions, multiply to levels that can lead to food-borne illness.  Here are some helpful tips for thawing and defrosting…

–  There are three safe ways to defrost food:  in the refrigerator, in the sealed package in cold water, and in the microwave oven.

–  Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking.  Just be sure to plan ahead because food may take several hours to thaw completely in the ‘fridge (or even days for big guys like turkeys).

–  Foods defrosted in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.

–  Above all, NEVER defrost foods outdoors, in a cold room in the house (such as a basement), or on the kitchen counter.  These methods encourage growth of harmful bacteria.

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This month’s “Facts from the Farm”