Meat-Related Food Safety

After a morning spent shopping at the market, many of us don’t think twice about tossing our meat in the meat drawer until we need it for later in the week. But there are concerns about food safety in terms of how to store the meat we purchase and when it should be consumed.

Food safety begins at the meat counter. When picking up pre-packaged meat, make sure the package is not damaged. Be certain there is not a rip or tear that could allow air in. Ensuring this, will inhibit the growth of bacteria. You also want to prevent the juices from running out and possibly contaminating other foods. Also, when picking up the package make sure it is still chilled. Check the dates and try and eat the meat within the suggested timeframe.  Always avoid any meat that looks discolored or smells funny.

When you arrive at home, it is suggested that you take the meat out of the plastic package in which it is stored if you plan on eating it later in the week. The plastic could make the meat sweat, so placing it in a dish and covering it so that the air can flow around it, will keep it safer longer. Also, if you plan on storing your meat for a few days, keep it in a special meat drawer or on the bottom shelf so that you minimize the risk of any juices dripping on other foods.

The amount of time for storing meat varies depending on the type of meat, but generally, meat should safely last 2 days in the refrigerator and a little longer with some steaks and roasts.

Keeping an eye out and scrutinizing your meats before you purchase them, will ensure that you always make food safety a top priority in your home.

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