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Publix Issues Advisory on Proper Thawing Practices

LAKELAND, Fla., Nov. 9, 2010 — Publix Super Markets is issuing a voluntary advisory regarding the proper handling procedures for the defrosting of Publix Premium Certified Beef. The company advises customers to remove the product from the original packaging and placing the product in a microwave-safe plate for thawing. Failure to remove product from original packaging may cause microwave to spark. 

“As part of our commitment to customer education, we wanted to remind customers of safe handling procedures for their purchase of fresh beef products,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations.

“We received a couple of customer inquiries regarding the safety of thawing beef in its original packaging. We were able to determine that any Publix Premium Certified Beef products purchased between (July – Nov. 2010) should not be thawed in its original packaging. A change in supplier labels earlier this year has changed the composition of the labels. Upon notification of the potential label hazard, we discontinued the use of the labels and are sourcing a new supplier. Publix customers with additional questions may call our Consumer Relations department at 1-800-242-1227.”   

The advisory issued by the company is not a food safety concern, but rather a safe handling protocol. 

According to the USDA, consumers should remove food from packaging  before defrosting. It is not recommended to use foam trays and/or plastic wraps because they are not heat stable at high temperatures. For additional recommendations on proper thawing of food, visit their website at www.usda.gov.