How to Store Meat

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Proper storage of meat helps extend its shelf life and allows you to take advantage of sales and bulk buying. When you store meat correctly, it also translates to better flavor because you're keeping it fresh.

The following ___ steps will help you to properly package and store meat for optimum freshness.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear plastic wrap
  • Zip lock bags
  • Butcher wrap paper
  • Vacuum packaging machine (optional)

Store Meat the Right Way

Buy meat as fresh as possible. The fresher the meat, the better it will taste and the longer its shelf life. If you're buying pre-packaged meat, such as hamburger, check the expiration dates and choose the one that has the date farthest away.

Do not store or defrost meat on the counter at room temperature. This increases the risk of bacteri

Tips & Warnings

  • Freezer burn makes meat surfaces look discolored and doesn't taste good. Cut off and discard that portion of the meat.
  • Don't overload your freezer - allowing air to circulate helps keep meat properly frozen.
  • Store meat on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator where it's coldest (36 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit), prior to cooking.
  • For easier separation of meat, you can place freezer paper between chops, burgers and steaks.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Spoiled meat can cause severe intestinal problems, even food poisoning.
  • If meat smells sour, throw it out. Spoilage has started.
  • When handling meat or poultry, always wash both the counter and your hands after each type of meat to avoid transmitting any form of bacteria.

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