The next time you come home from the grocery store, pay attention to how you store your meat in the refrigerator. There are some simple tips and tactics that will extend the life of the meat that you buy, plus these hints will help prevent bacteria from potentially compromising your meat or causing possible illness among those who eat it.
Some things to keep in mind when storing meats include:
Leave the wrap alone.
Leave the meat in the package that you bought it in. Removing one packaging to wrap again invites bacteria and could shorten the shelf-life of your meat. If you like, go ahead and wrap an additional layer of butcher paper or plastic around the entire package, and make it a habit of labeling the package with the date that you put it in the refrigerator.
Toss it in the freezer.
If you aren't going to use the meat for a couple days, go ahead and toss it in the freezer. If your freezer is equipped with an extra-cold drawer compartment for meat, use it. Keeping meat and poultry in the freezer instead of the fridge will extend its life from a mere few days to a few months.
Always keep it cold.
Don't thaw your meat on the kitchen counter; thaw it in the fridge. It will take a little longer but it will ensure that your meat doesn't pick up nasty bacteria before you get the chance to cook it. Also, always marinate in the fridge, rather than at room-temperature, too.
You spend good money on the meat that you buy to feed your family; take a little care to prevent premature spoilage and potential bacteria. Use these tips when storing meat to extend their shelf-life, and ensure the food's safety.