Meat is a high quality non-vegetarian food that contains many important vitamins and minerals like Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Phosphorus, etc. Moreover, meat has been an important component of the diet for centuries. However, the meat may become inedible due to several factors such as chemical or enzymatic composition, outside moisture, light, heat, germs, oxygen, etc. These can also create infection of microorganisms like bacteria, mold, which increases the risk of developing various food borne diseases. Read this article to know the ways how to preserve the meat properly to last longer, remain fresh, healthy, and suitable for eating in a bactericidal state.
The Main Purpose of Preserving Meat
The purpose of preservation depends on individuals. However, the following are the top reasons to preserve meat.
- Keep the taste and quality of the meat as intact as possible.
- Keep the meat sterile.
- To prevent rotting of meat.
- Reducing financial losses by controlling the transmission of food-borne diseases by meat
People have been using various techniques to preserve meat at home and commercially since ancient times, which has now become more advanced, simpler, and more up-to-date. Let's talk about the ways to preserve meat (beef/mutton) for a long time.
Ways to Preserve Fresh Beef or Mutton in Refrigerator/Freezer
In food science, meat is included in the list of highly perishable foods. This means that if not stored properly, the meat will spoil very quickly. If the animal is left outside for a long time after slaughtering, the meat becomes very soft. This destroys both the taste and nutritional value of the meat. So, the meat should be stored in the fridge as soon as possible.
However, the fridge must be thoroughly cleaned before putting the meat in the fridge. If the fridge is unclean, the meat may smell bad. Or, if you put it with any other smelly food, the stench can come from the meat.
Also, there are things to keep in mind-
- First of all, you have to clean the fridge/ freezer well. Keeping the fridge clean is very important for storing meat for a long time. The fridge is more likely to smell because of previous fish and meat.
- The blood from the meat must be thoroughly washed and cleaned before storing it. After washing, it should be kept in a big basket to drain excess water. After the water is drained from the meat, keep it in a polythene or plastic packet and keep it in the fridge by wrapping or closing the packet.
- The meat remains hard for three to four hours after the slaughtering. It is better not to keep the meat in the fridge at this time. After this time, if the meat is a little soft, it should be preserved.
- Keep in mind that the pieces of meat do not get too big. It is better to preserve the meat in small pieces.
- Thick and good-quality polythene should be chosen for storage in the fridge. You can even use zip-lock plastic bags.
- Each packet of meat can be separated in the fridge with a piece of thick paper in between. Hence, there will be no risk of sticking a packet of meat with other packets.
- New and clean packets must be used to preserve the meat. Using old or previously used polythene can cause the smell.
- After keeping the meat in the fridge, the temperature should be reduced. The meat will freeze quickly. So, the meat should be stored in the fridge below zero-degree Fahrenheit temperature. Raw meat can be stored for 4-7 days at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, if you store the meat below zero-degree Fahrenheit temperature, raw beef/mutton will be good for 12 months.
Since Covid 19 pandemic is going, we have to be careful while storing. However, there is no evidence that people can contact Covid 19 from food or even food packing. But, for safety, washing the refrigerator or freezer is enough.