Thursday, 6 March 2014

Proper Storage of Your Fresh or Frozen Meats

Every once in a while our fridges and freezers need a good spring clean. Making sure that you take care to clean everything out and make space for your produce you can lessen the risk of food going off before its proper use-by date, as well as make sure to avoid detrimental waste of goods through effects such as freezer burn. It is essential that you take good care when storing your frozen and refrigerated meats not only to prolong their storage, but also to prevent them making you ill.

Healthy fridge

Getting hold of the freshest meat makes for great meals in a flash, so you will want to use only the freshest ingredients right away. Red meat and pork should last up to five days within a refrigerator at the correct temperature before they may start to go off. When placed in the freezer, red meat and pork can last for up to 4 to 12 months if stored correctly. Leftover cooked red meats will last roughly the same amount of time in the fridge, but may only last half the amount of time when re-frozen.

Storing poultry safely

Storing poultry safely
Fresh, raw poultry will only last a few days in the fridge, so make sure the meat is kept in a separate container and away from other meats. Use well before the use-by date to get that fresh taste. When frozen, raw poultry may last for up to a year - this is why poultry meats are a great choice when buying meat in bulk. The way you store your frozen poultry may also have an effect on how it is defrosted later on. So ensure you cut the meat to portions you desire beforehand and place in freezer bags to avoid freezer burn.

label your meats

It is important to keep your fridge below 5°C to improve the longevity of your foods. Pay careful attention to raw meats you may store in your refrigerator and make sure there is no chance of cross contamination. If possible, place raw meats into a sealed bag or plastic container that is sealed properly. To ensure that no fluids from the meat such as blood are able to escape and contaminate other foods in your fridge, place your meat containers on the bottom shelf.

Things to avoid

Cleaning fridge
It is important to never re-freeze raw meat, poultry or fish that has already been defrosted. Meat that has been defrosted must be consumed within a few days. This will ensure that with adequate storage, you can safely eat the meat and reduce any build-up of bacteria that may cultivate in the meat. Ensuring that your refrigerator and freezer are cleaned on a regular basis will ensure you further lower the risk of contamination of your meat and other foods.

freezer burn
The use of plastic bags is a popular way to store frozen foods in the freezer. Whilst doing so may save you a few pence if using supermarket bags, freezer bags are much better to help you store your frozen food. They may be thicker and help to protect against freezer burn, as well as having a place on the outside to label your meats for easier storage and sorting over longer periods of time. Proper storage of meats will ensure your food lasts longer, as well as tastes better when it’s time to start cooking.

Image source:  ehow, peculiarponderings, sndimg, deviantart, birchanddivine