When you’re pressed for time and want to get dinner on the table pronto, giving your food a quick blitz in the microwave is just the ticket.
But, if you often used your trusty appliance for the ultimate time-saving cooking hack – rapidly defrosting meat – then it might be time for a rethink…
Because, according to one expert, doing so could increase your risk of getting food poisoning.
In fact, the only truly safe way to do it is in the fridge over several hours, Professor Costas Stathopoulos of Abertay University in Dundee claimed in the BBC show Inside the Factorylast night (2 January).
After presenter Cherry Healey revealed that she always uses her microwave’s thaw setting to defrost meat, Dr Stathopoulos said:
‘It is really not the best of techniques. It is always the recommendation to follow the instructions on the packaging,’ he said, before explaining that the usual food hygiene advice is to defrost meat in the fridge because the cold temperatures help prevent bacteria from multiplying.
And defrosting meat on your kitchen counter is also a bad move…
After comparing two samples of turkey meat – one defrosted in the fridge and the other at room temperature – Dr Stathopoulos showed that the latter contained twice the amount of bacteria, including E. coli.