Meat is one of the most essential foods in most families. To make it edible in the long term, refrigerating and freezing are necessary. Here’s how you should store meat in the fridge and freezer properly.
Why should you store meat in the fridge?
The main reason for keeping meat in the fridge or freezer is to prevent the spread of any bacteria coming from meat. Meat of animals might contain some bacteria which are harmful to human health.
Once meat is stored in the low temperature inside the fridge, this can help to slow down the growth of bacteria, thus making it safe enough for people to eat.
How to store meat safely in the fridge?
For raw meat, you should store it with its original packaging in the fridge. You can place it on a rimmed baking sheet or deep plate to avoid spills or drips.
If you want to refrigerate cooked meat, you should give it around 1 to 2 hours to cool down. Then, transfer all meat pieces into the safe containers to keep in the fridge.
How to store meat properly in the freezer?
About raw meat, you need to move the meat from its packaging into other airtight containers or resealable bags for freezing. You should split your meat into many portions instead of freezing the whole one.
With cooked meat, after you cool it down, you can divide it into many small pieces in the way you want. Next, put your meat into freezer-safe containers.
Where should meat be stored in the fridge and freezer?
You should place any container used for meat on the lowest shelf in both the fridge and freezer. It is important for you to keep your meat away from other types of food to avoid spreading bacteria.
Besides, the bottom shelf is always the coolest part in the fridge and freezer. It is least likely to lose heat whenever you open and close the door.
How to keep meat fresh longer and safe?
There are several useful tips you can consider to keep your meat fresh longer and safer as follows:
- Separate raw and cooked meat
- Press the plastic bags to flatten out the air before storing
- Use plastic wrap to separate each piece of meat in the container
- Divide your meat into many small portions for different meals so that you do not have to defrost the whole meat.
- Keep the fridge temperature from 1 to 4 degrees Celsius
- Store raw meat from -2 to +2 degrees Celsius
- Label each container of meat
- Do not place too much food inside the fridge to help it circulate well
- Avoid freezing any defrosted meat
How long should you freeze different types of raw meat?
- 6 months for beef mince and 12 months for beef
- Lamb: 12 months
- Veal: 10 months
- Pork: 8 months
- 9 months for chicken pieces and 12 months for a whole chicken
- Sausage: 6 months
- Bacon: 1 month
- Raw ground meats: between 3 to 4 months
How long should you keep different types of meat in the fridge?
- 1 to 2 days for poultry and raw ground meats
- 3 to 4 days for cooked meat in all types
- Raw roast, lamb, veal, pork, or chops and steaks of beef: 3-5 days
How can you defrost your meat?
- Cooking without defrosting: It is safe enough to cook most of the frozen meats directly. However, it will take up much more time than cooking thawed meat.
- Defrost meat in cold water: Put the bags of frozen meat in cold water and change the water for each 30-minute course until being thawed.
- Microwave the frozen meats: Use the defrost setting to make your meat ready via the microwave.
- Thawing in the fridge: Move the frozen meat from the freezer into the fridge and keep it there overnight to defrost completely.
To prevent the development of bacteria, you should keep all types of meats in the fridge and freezer until you use them. After arranging your meat into safe containers, you had better keep them at the bottom of the fridge or freezer. It is also possible for you to apply some ways to keep meat fresh longer.
1. Meat Storage, fosterrefrigerator.com, Retrieved on Aug. 15, 2021
2. How to Safely Store Different Kinds of Meat—and Make It Last, foodandwine.com, Retrieved on Aug. 12, 2021