Did you know that the average American eats over 274 pounds of meat each year? Once you factor in seafood, this number could be much higher.
Since people love meat, it’s essential to learn how to cook and store it properly to prevent food-borne illness. While most people will feel sick for a day or two, these illnesses can be fatal.
Are you ready to learn more about meat safety? Keep reading for the ultimate guide on how to store your meat.
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Keep Raw Meat Sealed and at the Bottom of the Fridge
When it comes to meat storage, it’s essential to keep your raw meats at the bottom of the fridge so they don’t have the opportunity to leak onto other foods and spoil them. While most meats from the store come wrapped tightly, you can add an extra layer of protection by keeping them in the plastic grocery bag. Working with meat case dividers can also help with organization.
Put It in the Freezer If It’s Going to Expire
Throwing out expired products is one of the most important rules of food safety, which is especially true for meat. Keep an eye on the “best by” dates on all of your meats and try to create your weekly menus around these timelines. If you can’t manage to get to a product before it expires, then you can extend its lifespan by 4 months if it’s ground meat and up to a year for all other meats.
Store Leftover Cooked Meat as Soon as Possible
Memorizing meat cooking temperatures will help ensure that you kill any bacteria before you eat anything. Ground meat should be 160 degrees while poultry should be 165 degrees and red meat can be 145 degrees or higher. The “danger zone” for meat applies to temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, so be sure to store any leftover meats in the fridge right away.
Eat or Freeze Cooked Meats Within 4 Days
Once you cook meat, it can grow mold and spoil much faster. Even if you don’t notice any obvious signs of spoilage, be sure to smell leftover meats and give them a touch to ensure they’re not slimy or funky. If you can’t get to your leftovers within 4 days, then it’s best to stick them in the freezer until you’re ready.
Reseal Opened Packages and Eat Within 5 Days
If you’re a single person cooking for yourself or you’re trying to save money by buying in bulk, then you might not want to cook all of your meat at once. If this is the case, then you need to be extra careful when resealing your packages. Ziploc bags are the most helpful tool because you can get an airtight seal.
Once you open a package, you’ll have to cook it all within 5 days.
Learning About Meat Safety Is Essential for Your Health
Now that you’ve read about meat safety, you can navigate the kitchen with more confidence. Being an informed consumer and cook will help prevent you and your loved ones from getting sick.
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