DO NOT thaw foods at room temperature, with the exception of baked goods. Bacteria can multiply and grow in the thawed part of prepared foods, releasing toxins that are unsafe to eat even after cooking.
To make sure that your food is safe to eat, follow these correct ways to thaw:
In the Refrigerator: This is the slow but safe way of thawing. Small frozen foods might thaw in a few hours, while larger food dishes will take significantly longer. It usually take over overnight and then some.
In Cold Water: Place the frozen food entree in a leak-proof bag and place it in a large container of cold water.
In a Microwave on the Defrost Setting: Plan to cook the food right after it has thawed in a microwave, because some parts of the food may have begun cooking during the defrost cycle.