The safest method of thawing food is slowly, in your refrigerator. For this method allow about 8 hours per pound of meat and about 4 hours per pound of poultry, and about 6 hours per pound of fruit or vegetables.
You can speed up the process by submerging the food (still wrapped) in a sink full of cold water. You can also use the defrost feature on your microwave oven.
Note: If aluminum foil is used for wrapping, all pieces of foil must be removed before defrosting in the microwave oven to prevent arcing.
Never allow meat or eggs to defrost on the counter top. This is an invitation for bacteria to grow and can result in food poisoning. Baked goods and most fruits, on the other hand, can thaw at room temperature. With the exception of baked goods, most food should not be re-frozen (and even baked good may become drier with repeated freezing).