Never thaw food at room temperature.
The safest way to thaw food is in the refrigerator. Leave food in its original wrapping and place it on a plate before refrigerating to prevent any juices from dripping onto other foods.
Thawing food in cold water is also safe. Leave food in its original wrapping and place in a leak-proof plastic bag. Keep food submerged in cold water, changing water frequently to ensure it remains cold.
It is also acceptable to thaw food in a microwave oven; however, food thawed in a microwave oven must be cooked immediately upon thawing.