We all know the scéal - it's 7pm, we've just got home from work and we've forgotten to defrost the mince meat for dinner.
Rather than heading all the way to the shops, we usually just stick the packet in the microwave and turn on the "defrost" setting.
But according to Professor Costas Stathopoulos from Abertay University in Dundee, we could be putting ourselves in danger.
"It is really not the best of techniques," he said on this week's episode of Inside the Factory on BBC Two.
"It is always the recommendation to follow the instructions on the packaging."
The scientist recommended that meat be defrosted in the fridge over the course of several hours rather than just leaving it on a counter.
Meat defrosted at room temperature contains twice as much bacteria as that defrosted in the fridge, including ecoli microorganisms.