Originally Posted by TurnandBurn
nope not a joke. i dont necessarily live my life by FS&H guidelines. its not like i told anyone to leave it out, let it thaw and then refreeze it...cuz then we'd have problems. been doing this(thawing on counter & using same day) for at least 15 yrs and im still very very very much alive and kickin. obviously. lol. so as for the level of dangerousness....im just not seeing it, especially when i get home (8hrs later) and the meat is still stuck together in ice. if it makes ya feel better my wife and 3yr old as well as myself have NEVER had a food illness.
Growing up my grandmother and mother would always leave things to thaw out on the counter. We never had any issues either. But with being in the food service industry for the past 20+ years I have noticed a lot of changes in people's food tolerances. Our immune systems will adjust to what we live with and are surrounded with. Over the years food service and production has become more steril and people's tolerances are less/weaker. What I may do in my home may not be what I do at work, but all of my advice on food safety is always based on Food Service Guidelines. Very rarely will I deviate from it. Usually the only time is when cooking steaks to a temp. USDA temps are not correct to get what a customer wants. But for the most part the other temps are good.
I have thawed smaller pieces of food on the counter, but it is usually thawed in under an hour and cooked imediatly. So I am within the 4hr window. Where I see a challenge and potential problem for someone who is not as food tolerant as others is with larger cuts of meat left out for hours. The outer areas can get above the 40 degree mark for an extended amount of time and is prime for bacteria growth, while the center is still frozen. For someone with a weak immune system or a low tolerance to food bacteria this can be very dangerous. There are several food service companies that have nearly or totally gone out of bussiness due to improper handling of food. The one that stands out for me is Jack In The Box. They had several things go wrong that lead to the deaths of several people. One of their issues was improper storage.
I am sorry if I offended by my poor choice of the word "joke". That was not my intention. I was only trying to bring to light that it is not a recommended method of thawing by any organization.