When storing, preparing and cooking meat, it’s important to stick to high food hygiene standards in order to stop bacteria from spreading and to avoid food poisoning.
The following tips on how to store meat will help to maintain food safety and ensure that the quality of your meat and meat products is kept to the highest possible standard.
1. Seal raw meat in airtight packaging before freezing. Oxygen in the air actually speeds up the chemical breakdown of many foods, so the very best way to store meat is by vacuum-packaging it.
2. The fridge temperature should always be below 4o Celsius - and meat can be safely kept for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge (assuming that it is still within its ‘use-by’ date).
3. In order for beef to retain its quality and succulence, it should be frozen as soon as possible.
4. Raw meat should be kept separate from other foods. Try and remember to store raw meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge (which is the coldest part of the fridge) in a clean and sealed package or container so that it can’t drip onto other food or touch anything else.
5. If you cook meat and you don’t want to eat it right away, it should be refrigerated as soon as possible after cooking. Cooked meals shouldn’t be left at room temperature for longer than two hours and hot pieces of meat shouldn’t be covered with plastic wrap until they have cooled down.
6. It sounds simple, but it’s surprising how many people don’t follow the storage instructions on the label! They are there for a reason - and never eat meat after the 'use by' date on the packaging.
7. In order to prevent bacteria from spreading, you should always clean any plates, utensils, work surfaces and your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial wash after they have touched raw meat or meat that is thawing.
8. When it comes to freezing meat, it must always be frozen before its ‘use-by’ date. Beef can safely stay frozen for up to 12 months provided that the temperature in the freezer is maintained at a temperature no warmer than -17oC, (equivalent to 00 Fahrenheit).
9. Once you have defrosted meat, it should be used within two days. And remember, the liquid that comes from thawing meat can spread bacteria to other food or surfaces that it touches so it must be kept separate from other foods.
10. Only defrosted meat that has been cooked thoroughly can be refrozen. Uncooked meat should never be refrozen.
If you’ve got a sizeable freezer and you want to save time, money and effort, you may want to consider buying wholesale meat from a company like DBC Talk About Taste, which is a leading bulk meat supplier in Perth.
For example, you can get a bulk side of beef, bulk beef products or even bulk chicken, lamb, pork or mixed packs at reduced prices from them without compromising quality. If buying bulk meat sounds like a good idea, why not visit their website to see their wide range of quality meat products (which are conveniently packed in trays, ready for the freezer) or call them on 08 9780 6000 and join their growing list of happy customers who get bulk benefits from buying bulk meat.