So this is my first time doing the turkey, and I am kind of freaking out. It's a 11 pound bird that I purchased and froze last Friday.

Monday evening, I took it out of the freezer and moved it to the fridge. I have a feeling I should have done this much earlier, but I goofed up.

Being concerned about my turkey not being defrosted when it comes time to cook it, I opened it up and found the inside had large ice blocks inside still. I opted to run cold water over the turkey for about a hour and already the ice has seemed to thaw. So I wrapped the turkey up in shrink wrap on a pan and put it back in the fridge.

But now I am reading that it should be cooked immediately after being defrosted in the above method. Now I am freaking out even more. Have I ruined my turkey? The last thing I want to do is get my family sick, and I feel like a dummy.

I know no one can really say for sure if this is a tainted turkey, but would anyone still have any words of advice for me?

  • Your bird is probably fine, just two questions, please: When did you defrost under running cool water and how long after that did you store the turkey in the fridge?
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 14:08
  • I defrosted it about 10 hours ago. I will be cooking it in about 2 hours from now. So that's 12 hours in the fridge. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 14:14
  • Totally fine, see ElendilTheTall's answer.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 14:15
  • Thanks! Have a happy Thanksgiving if you are celebrating :) Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 14:46

2 Answers 2


As long as the turkey stayed reasonably cold throughout its hour outside the fridge, you should be fine. Safety regs usually state that meat should not be at room temperature for more than 2 hours throughout its 'lifetime'. As you defrosted in the fridge and then under cold running water for an hour, and assuming you placed it straight back in the fridge, you should be pretty safe.

Be wary of any sliminess or bad smells prior to cooking, and use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat has reached 170F/75C in the thickest part before eating.


The turkey should be fine, as Elendil says.

The rest of the kitchen might not be, however. Washing poultry before cooking raises the risk of campylobacter poisoning.

NHS - Why you should never wash raw poultry

You might want to give surrounding worktops a good washing with something that doesn't like bacteria....

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