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I know the basic health regulations but practically what do large scale operations do to defrost chicken/meats? Trying to defrost it all in the fridge takes approximately forever, and doing it all under cold rubbing water seems very inefficient.

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    What do you mean by "inefficient"? Just that it takes a while?
    – Sneftel
    Feb 19, 2020 at 9:28
  • s/rubbing/running/ (I assume)
    – Chris H
    Feb 19, 2020 at 9:54
  • @Sneftel takes a long time and uses a lot of water. Also if you don’t have someone sticking their hands in and stirring the whole pile once in a while the center of it will take even longer.
    – mroll
    Feb 19, 2020 at 11:26
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    They do it in a large scale refrigerator (walk in cooler, etc). That's how we handled frozen-to-fresh products where I worked.
    – Allison C
    Feb 19, 2020 at 20:02
  • Remember, restaurant kitchens often need to estimate their food needs well ahead of time: fermenting dough, slow-cooking meats, even just ordering ingredients. Taking a while to thaw something is going to be much less of a problem for them than it might be for the home cook.
    – Sneftel
    Feb 20, 2020 at 10:17

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As Allison C commented. You move meat to walk in fridge and wait. You always have a few days reserve waiting for you. It's also safer as meat that have been in cooler for 4 days can be used on fifth day. While if you thawn it completly in room temperature (or under water but it was in room temperature while you taken it ou tof the sink) you would need to use it immediatelly.

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