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I just went downstairs and noticed my girlfriend thawing pork chops and beef together in a bowl of cold water, is this okay?

The water is bloody red and im worried that the porkchop juices mixing with beef juices is a bad thing

Appreciate any insight

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This can be safe; mixing isn't fundamentally dangerous. The things to keep in mind are:

  • The overall thawing method needs to be safe. Ideally that means running water, but the key is that it's fast enough to avoid spending too long in the danger zone. A bowl of water is likely too slow, though it can be fast enough if the water is agitated and changed periodically to simulate running water. See also What are the acceptable methods to thaw food items?
  • They'll need to be cooked to the higher required temperature of the two. For example, if the beef were ground, it needs to go to 160F, so even though pork chops only need 145F, you'd probably want to cook them to 160F anyway.

The mixing doesn't really change anything, any more than adding raw beef and pork to the same pan does. You just end up with a combination of the unsafe things from both, and then you cook them both to render them safe. Safety is essentially just about cooking to a high enough temperature, and not staying in the danger zone (40-140F) too long.

I don't think this is a particularly good thawing method, though. Ideally anything you've frozen is in an airtight, watertight package of some sort, so you could just keep both packaged during thawing. Or if you plan ahead, you can thaw in the fridge.

  • Hey thanks for the info! Im pretty sure theyve just been floating in the same water for 6 hours, but I gotta give her points for trying. I might still cook them both anyway though – SYAWEDIS Nov 28 '17 at 0:14
  • @SYAWEDIS That's pretty definitely unsafe, in that there is some risk, hard to say exactly how much. Most likely the surface of the meat was in the danger zone for most of that 6 hours, and the usual limit is 2-4 hours -- and cooking doesn't "fix" it. – Cascabel Nov 28 '17 at 0:23
  • Fwiw the water is still pretty icey cold – SYAWEDIS Nov 28 '17 at 0:50
  • If "pretty icey" is below 40F, I think that means it's okay, but hard to say if "icey cold" by your standards might include 40-50F. – Cascabel Nov 28 '17 at 0:52
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    Hard to tell without a thermo, but the beef is now cooking in a stew. Will let you know if we die – SYAWEDIS Nov 28 '17 at 1:47

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