That's kind of like saying it's not the bee sting that hurts, its the venom the bee injects into your skin. You can kill bacteria with freezing. But the spores produced by the bacteria will survive freezing and become bacteria again that will produce the toxins that are harmful. Remember bacteria reproduce very fast that is why we suggest the 4 hour rule. From the time the meat is taken off refrigeration to the time the meat is hot enough to kill the toxin producing bacteria or denature the toxins should be less then 4 hours. 4 hours because USDA has decided that is the best guess for how long it takes bacteria to produce enough toxins to be harmful. If you read procedures for a health-care or long term care facility the guidelines can be much stricter. Normal healthy people can take some liberties with these guidelines but what if 90 year old Aunt Bessie eats something that gets her sick and she can't recover as well or quickly as you and I. Also remember if there are no pathogens in the meat to begin with it will take longer for the product to become infected and build up the levels that are harmful. That is why the way we handle meat from the time it leaves the butcher to the time it gets served is very important
You know every egg you eat has salmonella. The problem is that sometimes the amount of salmonella is high enough in that egg that leaving it in the car to long, forgetting to put it back in the fridge or improper cooking can result in getting very sick.
I can get most strains of flu, feel like crap for a couple of days and then go back to work. An old or unhealthy person can get the flu and never again leave the bed on their own power.
Don't know if this helps. You need to be aware of food safety from beginning to end.
Some members take liberties with the standards we use. They have the experience to know what else they can do to stay out of trouble. But they have the obligation to assume you are not as experienced as they are and provide only the safest advice to you.