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Question
QUESTION: Hi Carl,

Is it safe to take a fried chicken breast that's frozen, move it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw, and then eat it as soon as it has thawed, without cooking it?

Also, can this be done with a grilled chicken breast?

Thank you,
- J

ANSWER: It is unsafe to eat raw chicken without cooking it to an internal minimum temperature of at least 165 degrees. It doesn't matter if it was frozen and thawed in a refrigerator. Raw chicken often contains salmonella bacteria and the only way to kill it is to cook the chicken thoroughly.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Perhaps I didn't phrase the question correctly. Assume the chicken was already cooked when it first went into the freezer. If, weeks later, I move the frozen (cooked) chicken to the fridge to thaw and then eat it as soon as it has thawed, are there any safety concerns?

Answer
Sorry, I see now that you originally said, "Is it safe to take a fried chicken breast that's frozen" I somehow missed the word fried! The answer is it is perfectly safe to thaw cooked chicken and eat it without further cooking. The rule is you should eat it within 2 hours after thawing. I originally thought, "who eats raw chicken!" so what I first thought was a ridiculous question turns out to be a very good question Jona. Believe it our not there is a newer sushi offering in asia...raw chicken and beef.  

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Carl LaFrate

Expertise

I can answer food safety questions relative to food processing, retail food and food salvage after a catastrophic event such as a hurricane, flood, ammonia leak or fire. Questions related to HACCP, Regulatory, GFSI, SQF, BRC, liability issues, contamination events, pest infestation, pest control methodology,food safety defense, pathogen prevention such as L. Monocytogenes control in food processing and retail, any subject related to food safety including at home issues.

Experience

30 years experience as a food safety consultant working for the top food processors, food retailers and insurance companies that write liability policies related to food processing, storage and distribution. My firm employees 6 full time food safety auditors. I work for top law firms throughout the USA and am a staff consultant for Douglas Peterson and Associates, one of the top forensic engineering firms in the world. I also work with Risk Solutions International, a global leader in risk management.

Organizations
New York State Association for Food Protection, past president, executive board Central Atlantic States Association of Food and Drug Officials

Publications
Progressive Grocer Magazine Smart Money Magazine Private Label Buyer Magazine Supermarket News Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine Food Service Director Magazine NYS Association for Food Protection Annual Report NYS Association for Food Protection Newsletter

Education/Credentials
Syracuse University, Microbiology/Biology NYS College of Environmental Sciences, Plant and Environmental Biology Cornell University, Food and Dairy Processing

Awards and Honors
Wm. Hickey Award (2006), NYS Association for Food Protection, for contributions in the field of food safety and sanitation New York State Integrated Pest Management Award (2007), NYS Assoc. for Food Protection, for contributions in the filed of integrated pest management.

Past/Present Clients
Pillsbury, Agri-Mark, Associated Grocers, Beatrice Foods, Cargill, Southern Cold Storage, Quaker, Ben & Jerry’s, Delverde Pasta (Italy), New York Bakery, Cabot Cheese, Hazelwood Farms, General Mills, Price Chopper Supermarkets, P&C Supermarkets, Great American Supermarkets, Tops Markets, Big M Supermarkets, Big Bear Supermarkets, Frito-Lay Distribution Centers, IBP, Excell, Eckerd Drugs, Rite Aid Drug Stores, Fay’s Drugs, Carl’s Drugs, AWI Wholesale Food Distribution, McLane Food Distributors, Golub Food Distribution, many supermarket chains (many include large scale specialty food service operations), Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Darden Foods (Red Lobster, Olive Garden), LSG Skychefs (Germany, US), Glen Mills Schools, Cornell University, Crider Poultry, Caesar’s Palace, The Oneida Indian Nation, Taylor Meat Packing, UCB Packaging Films

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