For restaurant owners and food service operators, meat is one of the most costly capital items in the monthly budget, so itís imperative to put careful thought and effort into ensuring that none of it goes to waste.
This means storing meat properly, because if it isnít stored the right way at the right temperature, it may need to be thrown away - and that is tantamount to throwing profits down the drain.
Storing meat properly is a business imperative for restaurant owners from a food safety perspective too. Meat is perishable and therefore if it isnít frozen or refrigerated properly, it can become unsafe to eat - and the consequences of serving patrons potentially harmful food can be significant.
Other important considerations for the food service industry are taste, consistency and quality of product - and when it comes to making sure that the meat that you serve your customers ticks all these boxes every time, itís crucial to ensure that it has been stored correctly.
Letís look at how best to store your bulk meat so that you maximise its longevity, preserve its taste, ensure consistency of quality, prevent contamination and minimise the chance of wastage.
Fast freezing Itís essential to freeze bulk meat quickly, as this reduces the chance of damage to the fibres of the meat and also enables the meat to retain its juices when thawed. Depending on your freezer capability, it can be preferable to have your bulk meat frozen at the supplierís premises if they have the right equipment to handle the fast freezing process.
Wrapping Itís as important to wrap bulk meat properly as it is to store it properly. There should be as little air as possible around the meat and the package should be sealed well to prevent air from entering. When air does get in, it can draw moisture from the meat resulting in a dry, less flavourful product as well as causing unsightly Ďfreezer burní. Vacuum packing is best, and the wrapping should be moisture and vapour-proof.
Temperature Fresh bulk meat should be kept refrigerated at temperatures between 2 and 40 C with frozen meat kept at below -180 C. The temperatures (and the seals) on fridges and freezers should be checked regularly to prevent leaks or variations.
Rotation When handling bulk meat packs, itís important to label them carefully with the dates of purchase as well as maintain the FIFO (First in, first out) principle of product rotation to ensure freshness and quality.
If you are keeping fresh bulk meat in the fridge, then remember to put it on the bottom shelf so that any juices that may run out wonít contaminate any other food products. Also remember that your meat may absorb odours from other foods, so in addition to keeping it tightly wrapped, you should try and keep it alone in the cooler if possible.
If you want professional advice on the storage and handling of meat, you should contact the leading wholesale meat supplier in Perth, DBC Talk About Taste.
For over 60 years, they have been supplying their premium suite of branded beef, pork and lamb and MSA quality products to Australiaís top hotels, restaurants and wineries, elite supermarkets, independent butchers, catering institutions, government departments and leading health and aged care facilities - so when it comes to anything to do with bulk meat supplies, DBC Talk About Taste have the answers.
Visit their website to view their extensive range of bulk meat, portion cut products and ready-to-eat items or contact them on 08 9780 6000.