Seven ways to preserve meat
Meat is a food that’s rich in protein, has a high water content but is also more prone to bacterial contamination. We’ve put together some helpful safety measures to preserve meat in it’s optimal state to prevent possible food poisoning.
What steps should you follow?
Consider following these steps to keep your meat in good condition.
- Make sure it’s fresh: The first step is checking the condition of your meat. Second, check the appearance, packaging date and the expiration date. Lastly, check the color. Meat should be deep red, sticky, dry, shiny and have creamy looking fat. Meat should never be yellow or gray.
- Keep it up to 72 hours: You can keep meat in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days. This may depend on the type of meat you have since there are some that can last longer.
- Mince meat only when you are going to consume it: After you mince or ground your meat, it should be consumed within a few hours. The longer you wait to consume it, the more it is exposed to bacteria. A tip is to avoid buying packaged ground meats because it spends several hours or days in that state.
- Eliminate juices: If you are going to keep meat in your refrigerator be sure to keep it dry. Eliminating the juices that are inside of the package helps remove bacteria.
- Use airtight containers: When you purchase meat at the butcher, it’s usually wrapped in paper or placed in a plastic bag. To better preserve your meat, remove the wrapping and place it inside a clean container with an airtight closure.
- Keep it in large pieces: The fewer cuts your meat has, the more difficult it will be for it to deteriorate.
- Freeze the meat: Another way to preserve your meat is by putting it in the freezer. It can last for months. However, we recommend that you check its conditions when defrosting it to ensure it’s in good condition.
How to defrost the meat
If you decide to put your meat in the freezer, you should know how to properly defrost it. Follow these tips:
- Place it in the refrigerator: Placing your meat in the refrigerator will gradually defrost your meat at a safe temperature. Do not defrost your meat in a warm room. If you do this, the meat will be full of bacteria.
- Use cold water: Another way to defrost meat is to use cold water. It will safely defrost your meat without causing damage to your product.
- Use the microwave: Most microwaves have a defrost functionality. This is a good option only if you are going to cook the meat immediately afterwards.
The most important thing when cooking at home is to make sure you properly preserve the food you use for your dishes. There is no better way to care for your family and your customers than by maintaining the highest safety measures in your kitchen.