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Old 10-12-2008, 08:32 AM   #1
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Thawing my turkey

I forgot that I had put the frozen turkey breast in a sink of cold water half way up on the turkey. it was out all night. about 8 hours... it was still very cold when i felt it this morning but totaly thawed out. Is it safe to eat it?

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Old 10-12-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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What is the temp of the water this morning? Was the turkey completely submerged? If the turkey was under the water all the way and the water never went above 40 degrees F then you are OK. If it was about 40F for any significant time then you could have a problem.

There are many people here who will tell you it is fine to leave a turkey on the counter overnight to thaw so leaving it in a sink of water overnight should be fine. The logic they use is that they have never gotten sick by doing that. The first problem with that logic is that they have no way of knowing they have never gotten sick or made someone else sick by doing that. Symptoms can take up to 72 hours or longer to show and can be as mild as a headache. The only way to know if you have gotten sick from food is by a blood test.

The other problem with that logic is the old seat belt analogy. Yes they may have done this for 40 years and never had a problem. They may also have driven for 40 years without a seat belt and never had a problem. That one time they get into an accident (or have a bird with a problem) they will be sorry they did not take the precaution of putting on their belt or thawing correctly.

Welcome to the site Freddie!
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:57 AM   #3
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I do not know the temp of the water this morning. all i know is that is was very cold when i put my hand in the water. the heat was off last night in the house and so it got to about 60 in the house then the turkey was half way in the water and felt very cold to the touch,it was totaly thawed out but very cold to the touch. It smelled ok as well this morning so i just put it directly into my crock pot and put it on high. What do you think,, should we eat it ?
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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If it were me I would not eat it. Especially cooked in a crock pot. If the turkey was only submerged halfway in the water and the house was 60 degrees then that portion of the turkey was in the danger zone for much too long. Smell is not always a good indicator. If something smells off then by all means listen to your nose, but just because something does not smell off does not mean there will not be problems.

The reality of the situation is that chances are your turkey is safe to eat. The issue is that if you gamble and loose you will be very sorry. For anyone who has ever had a major case of food poisoning, every single one of those people will tell you the chance you take is not worth it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:46 AM   #5
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If the water was very cold as you say, then it's safe to eat. The temperature limit in your fridge is 40 degrees, if your water was 40 or under go for it. Because the breast was frozen, it would keep the water at a low temp for quite a while. It's the same as putting a block of ice in the water. IF you have doubts, try putting a thermometer in water and testing what 40 degrees feels like.
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Old 10-12-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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The problems though DQ is that the turkey was only half in the water. The half that was exposed to the air was in the 60 degree range, which is well above 40.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
The problems though DQ is that the turkey was only half in the water. The half that was exposed to the air was in the 60 degree range, which is well above 40.
I must have skipped over that part of your post an missed it. You're right. If half of the turkey was at 60 degrees chuck it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:46 PM   #8
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Well thanks so much for the advice. I have to admit though i did cook the turkey and it was real good.. ha ha guess we will see in the morning now if any of us get sick. Im hoping that it was cold enough in the water. When I picked it up it was very cold still and im assuming that it took several hours to thaw so i dont think it was unfrozen for too long. Normally I say when i doubt throw it out.. but it was Sunday and i dont go to the store on Sunday so i didnt want to go buy more turkey. I know i was dumb to take the chance but I will let you know if we get sick and then we can all learn from my mistakes. :). We definately blessed the food too. Thanks any way.
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:51 PM   #9
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If the Turkey was still in the original package, I would probably eat it. I don't think the crock pot was the best choice, however. That method just prolongs the amount of time the outside of the meat (where the bacteria will be) is in the ideal growth zone.

Your only real risk is from Staph toxin, which is heat stable. Every pathogenic bacteria will be killed by proper cooking. You have more danger of getting sick from the left overs than the properly cooked breast. A Turkey breast is much safer than a whole turkey, because the area that is likely to have the highest concentration of pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella) is exposed.

While there is a risk of staph toxin, it seems slight to me if the product was still in its original package, and the water was still "very cold".
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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It is 7:51 a.m. on Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My 20 lb. turkey is frozen solid. Help! I can't use the cold water way if I want to cook it tomorrow...can I?
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