Meat Storage Requirements
Regardless of whether you store meat for your own personal consumption or for a business, it is important to know how to safely do so. This is especially so in the hotter seasons or during the summertime. During these periods, it is common that people hold cookouts with large amounts of meat so that they can have a good time with their family and friends. However, with the increase in temperatures, meat can also go bad more easily. As such, it is crucial that you meet storage requirements to allow for fresh food. It has been shown that up to 48 million people fall sick from food poisoning annually. Being such a common problem, it is only wise that we engage in proper storage methods. Here at Ancaster Food Equipment, we provide the best commercial and novelty freezers in the country that are refurbished and sold at extremely affordable prices.
The Different Types of Bacteria
In accordance to the guidelines by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are two main types of bacteria that can attack meat that is improperly stored. Meat can become affected by pathogenic bacteria that can lead to foodborne illnesses. This kind of bacteria is extremely dangerous because of how quickly it can reproduce. Furthermore, it is hard to detect because it does not usually affect the appearance, taste, and smell of your meat. Spoilage bacteria on the other hand can reproduce as your meat starts to spoil. They are easier to detect but generally there is a lower probability of getting food poisoning.
Regardless of the type of meat, the best thing you can do is to store it in a freezer. Studies have shown that you can safely freeze your meats for an indefinite amount of time. As per the USDA guidelines, when you store your meat in temperatures of 0°F or -18°C, microbes such as the aforementioned types of bacteria or yeast will be inactivated. The enzyme activity in the meat will also be slowed down, reducing the possibility of your meat going bad.
Furthermore, there is no need to vacuum seal your meat in the freezer in order to store it safely. However, this is not to say that sealing up your food will not be beneficial. It can help to minimize the amount of moisture that your meat is exposed to and allow your food to taste fresher for longer.
Although it is perfectly fine to keep these meats in their original packaging, it would be wise to add a layer of protection such as foil or cling wrap before putting your meat in the freezer. Not only would this prolong the freshness of the meat, the nutrients can be maintained as well.
For most cuts of beef, you can freeze them for a few months without them going bad as long as they are uncooked. While steaks can be kept from 6 to 12 months, ground beef should not be kept in the freezer for more than 3 or 4 months.
The good news is that are able to freeze a chicken or turkey whole for up to a year without much difference in taste when you cook it.
For pork roasts, you can freeze them from 4 to 12 months. However, processed pork such as luncheon meat and ham should only be kept for 1 to 2 months.
When you can only trust your foods and beverages to the very best, rely on Ancaster Food Equipment and our refurbished units. We carry numerous styles and sizes for all your Meat Storage needs. Check out our inventory today or contact us with any questions you may have!