Handy Hints & Food Safety at Home
Getting the best out of your meat relies as much on correct storage as it does on correct cooking.
- Allow 200 to 250 g of lean boneless meat or 300g bone in cuts per portion
- Meat should be bright pink to red in color with a fresh (not dry) appearance
- Select lean cuts
- Keep meat cold while carrying home – this can avoid the growth of food spoilage bacteria.
Vacuum Packed Meat
- Vacuum Packing extends the storage life of chilled meat by removing all the air.
- In the pack, the meat will appear purple-red in colour due to lack of air. Once opened, the meat returns to its usual bright color
- You might notice a slightly 'off' odour when opening the bag. This is normal and is only 'confinement odour' and will disappear in a short time
- One opened, vacuum packed meat storage is 1 – 2 days
Handling and Preparation
Bacteria can be passed to and from people, surfaces, food, animals and from raw to cooked foods. You should always avoid cross contamination by following these simple tips:
- Wash your hands thoroughly in hot soapy water
- Use different utensils and chopping board when preparing foods which are ready to eat (e.g. salad) and those which are to be cooked (e.g. meat)
- Never place cooked foods on plates which have contained raw products such as meat, poultry and fish.
When cooking mince, sausages, hamburgers and rolled roasts – always ensure they are cooked right through and there is no pink meat
- Store your meat in a special Meat Compartment of your fridge.
- Unwrap meat or remove from plastic (this makes meat sweat which shortens storage life) and arrange in stacks of 2 – 3 layers allowing some air space between each piece. This can be done using foil or waxed paper
Storage of Fresh meat
Minced Meat Use within 24 hours or freeze Fresh Chicken 1 - 2 days or freeze Sausages & Burgers 2 days or freeze Cubed, Stripped or Crumbed Meats 2 - 3 days or freeze Steaks, Chops, Cutlets 2 - 3 days or freeze Roasts & Marinated Meats 3 - 4 days or freeze Corned Meats 7 days or freeze Vacuum Packed (Marinated) 14 days or freeze Vacuum Packed (Plain) 28 days or freeze
Storage of frozen meat
Beef Roast 4 - 6 months Beef Mince, Beef Casserole 2 - 3 months Beef Steaks 3 - 4 months Lamb chops, Lamb Casserole 2 - 3 months Lamb Roast (whole) 4 - 6 months Sausages 1 - 2 months