Knowing how to conduct the various processes (purchase, hygiene, handling, storage) is key to safe food. Consumers should know that not all foods are equal and therefore not all have the same needs. One of the key aspects is conservation, which varies depending on the type of food. For meat, proper management of temperature and time are key to preventing foodborne diseases. And take into account the different ways in which (whole pieces, or chopped in trays) is marketed. An article detailing the basic principles of home preserving of meat and specific requirements for some of the forms of packaging .
The preservation of meat at home, in whatever form, requires refrigeration temperatures. The meat is rich in protein and an important water content, which makes it susceptible to bacterial contamination. ( Salmonella , Listeria and E. coli ). The temperature at which the refrigerator should be kept is about 4 ° C. In fresh foods like meat it is important to keep these conditions until consumption. Fresh meat has a short life and, although it remains in the refrigerator, it should be cooked within 72 hours after purchase. It is important to protect the meat from contact with air to avoid contamination.
Basic principles of how to preserve meat at home
Sometimes the meat undergoes colour changes are normal and do not affect safety. From bright to dark red, meat can go through different shades. Depending on the external conditions to which it is subject. Especially if it comes in contact with air and light. In these cases, a change occurs in the main meat pigment, myoglobin, and darkens. This does not indicate that it is damaged but has produced an oxidation. In our answer to how to preserve meat at home we would like to underline that proper preservation of meat involves:
- Store it in the bottom of the refrigerator to prevent dripping on other foods.
- It must be entered in clean containers tightly closed.
- Raw meat in pieces or fillets remains between three and five days; ground beef, one to two days.
- The cooked meat is kept in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Preserve meat that comes in trays
Meat, meat products and other products, and traded in bulk, sold packed in a tray, a form that uses a preservative to ensure a longer life. It is a way of getting fresh produce in optimal conditions of hygiene longer. The way in which retain requires low temperatures and which is inserted in a protective atmosphere. This means that the “air” in contact with food is controlled. It should be noted that the air oxidises food and spoil. In the case of meat on a plate, it can be maintained in good condition up to four days longer than usual.
To know how to preserve meat at home means that we need to know that conservation in tray prevents food absorb or release odors. And avoids having to manipulate before cooking, which minimizes the risk of contamination prior. These foods may also be frozen in the same container in which they come. And it is advisable to freeze not wait until the last moment to the expiry date.
The ground beef could be considered high health risk because of their greater surface contact with the air and the high degree of manipulation. To prevent pathogens such as E. coli , the cooling temperature in the centre of the part (a hamburger, for example), should arrive at 4 ° C, as this maintains a good condition for about three days.
Freezing and thawing MEAT
The process of freezing raw meat should be done as quickly as possible to prevent the formation of ice crystals. It is best not cut the meat into large pieces. Wrap in plastic separating portions or servings. The cooked meat can be frozen once it is cold and containers hermetically closed.
The thawing of the meat should be performed slowly so that it is uniform, whether they are raw or cooked. After removing the freezer must be entered in the fridge. Iin this way, the exudation of the flavor and nutrients of the meat would be avoided. Meat that has thawed should be cooked immediately to prevent starts to deteriorate.