Guidelines to Safely Store and Handle Different Raw Meats
Safety issues are associated with everything you may consume, and meat is no exception. Raw meat, whether poultry, beef, fish, or pork, is likely to contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E.coli. Therefore, it would help to be wary of raw meats. Below are guidelines for safely storing and handling raw meats.
The best and safest way to store raw meat is by freezing at 0 °F (-17.7 °C). The following are suggestions and guidelines for storing raw meat
Buy Meat Last
Only buy meat after you’ve bought everything you need. This practice will decrease the amount of time the meat spends outside of refrigeration.
Add an Extra Layer of Packaging
While it’s possible to store meat safely in its original packaging, adding an extra layer of foil or plastic wrap before putting meat in the freezer will help to keep moisture out, and keep it tasting fresh. The additional layer of protection will also prevent meat juice from getting into other foods.
Do Not Store Meat for Too Long.
At the right temperature, it is possible to store meat indefinitely in a freezer, but over time, even meat in the freezer will lose taste and nutrients. For best quality, store raw meat for a maximum of three months.
When handling raw meat, caution is advised. Below are guidelines for handling raw meat safely.
Wash Hands Always
Before and after handling raw meat and food in general, wash hands with soap, and under running water for at least 20 seconds.
Use Separate Utensils and Surfaces
Use separate utensils and cutting boards to prepare meat. If using separate utensils is inconvenient, wash all utensils, cutting boards, and surfaces before using it with other foods.
Do not leave meat outside to thaw as bacteria may quickly develop. Refrigerator, microwave, or cold water are the safest ways to thaw meat. In the refrigerator, place the meat at the bottom shelf, away from other foods so that meat juice won’t drip into other foods and cause cross-contamination.
Cook Meat Thoroughly
While different meats have different safe internal cooking temperatures, from 145°F to 165°F. At 165°F (75°C), the meat of any kind should be properly cooked and safe to eat.
Bacteria, viruses, and parasites in food are the primary causes of food poisoning. Safe handling and storage of meat, as well as other safe culinary practices, help to prevent food poisoning.