Safe meat handling is very important. Here are some points to remember.
Meat Handling at the Store
- Purchase fresh meat
- Fresh meat products should be cold to the touch
- Packing of the meat products should be free of holes and tears
- Always check the “use by” date so you do not purchase meat products that are expired
- Your refrigerator should be 40° F or below to keep food from bacteria
- From the point of purchase, meat products should be placed back in the freezer within 30 minutes. If this is not possible, keep the meat product in ice pack.
- Meat products should be re-wrapped for freezer storage using freezer paper or freezer bags.
- The best way to defrost meat products is in cold temperature. This way, you keep bacteria out while defrosting.
- At temperatures higher than 40° F, meat products start to attract bacteria. So, after defrosting using water or microwave, make sure to cook meat products right away.
- Wash all cutting utensils like the cutting board or knife right after using them on raw meat. If possible, cut vegetables and other food on a different cutting board than the ones used on raw meat products.
Diseases caused by bacteria in meat or food products are very real. So, make sure you are handling your food products properly. When in doubt, do not hesitate to throw away the food. Remember that safe is better than sorry.