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Proper Storage


Most cuts of beef can be safely stored in the refrigerator at temperatures between 0°C and 4°C for about 3 days when well wrapped in cling film or waxed paper; if vacuum packed, up to 5 days. They can be stored in a freezer with a temperature of -15°C or less for up to 6 months. Refrigerated minced beef should be used within 1 or 2 days (if vacuum packed, 3 days) and can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 months. Leftover cooked beef that is refrigerated should be used within 3 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Meat should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator until it is ready to use. If the meat is not used within the time stated above, it should be frozen. However, do not freeze meat which is at the end of its life span, because freezing does not make the meat better and existing bacteria do not get killed by freezing. If the meat requires long term freezing, ask our butcher to vacuum pack it to prevent freezer burn. At home, it should be re-wrapped in heavy-duty protection.


Freezer burn

Freezer burn causes the beef to become discolored and dehydrated. This is because exposure to the cold, dry air of the freezer can cause moisture loss, especially if the beef is packed incorrectly and/or stored in the freezer for an excessive length of time. Vacuum packing is the best prevention against freezer burn, if not possible, then several layers of cling film followed by a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil works well too. Heavy white freezer paper is another alternative for protecting the meat. It is important to note that freezing beef may affect the flavor, texture, and appearance of the meat when it is cooked at a later date, and in some cases, there may be a noticeable difference between fresh and frozen.


Vacuum packaging

A storage method that works well for fresh or frozen beef is vacuum packaging. It helps to keep beef fresh for longer periods if properly refrigerated or frozen. The vacuum package is usually made from food-approved plastic. The cut of beef is placed inside the bag, air is removed, creating a vacuum in the bag, and then the bag is sealed to maintain the vacuum. By removing the air, oxygen is removed and this considerably slows the growth of bacteria. Vacuum packed beef stored 0°C to 4°C would last about 5 days. Beef that is frozen for long-term storage in vacuum packages (or other types of packaging) should be dated so that it can be used within the proper time limit: up to 6 months for raw beef cuts, 4 months for minced beef, and 3 months for any type of cooked leftovers.

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