Tips on Handling Meat
When dealing with raw meat you have to make sure you are storing, preparing, cooking, and chilling it properly. You will be surprised of how many people make mistakes that can be hazardous when handling meat. Hopefully these tips will be helpful and bring safety to your kitchen.
- Your Refrigerator temperature should be at 40 degrees F or below to keep foods out of the danger zone. Keeping foods cold will inhibit bacterial growth.
- Refrigerate or freeze fresh meat products soon after purchasing if possible.
- Re-wrap meat tightly for freezer storage using freezer paper or plastic freezer bags.
- When refrigerating meat products place the package in meat compartment or the coldest part of the refrigerator away from other items in the refrigerator.
- Clean everything that the meat touches including, utensils countertops, and cutting boards with hot soapy water.
- Wash your hands before and after touching raw meat.
- If you use a knife or any other utensil or plate for raw meat, do not use it for other foods without washing it in hot soap water.
- Reserve one cutting board just for raw meats.
- Do not cross contaminate. Keep raw meat and their juices away from other foods.
- Cook all meats to the suggested internal temperature to eliminated harmful bacteria.
REMEMBER it is unlawful to eat or serve meat that is raw, rare, medium rare, medium pink, or medium well. It is lawful to eat or serve meat well done. Here are some examples of how uncooked meat looks:
Leviticus 7:26-27 “ Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. 27 Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.”
- Use a thermometer to ensure that meats are cooked to their proper temperature.
- To use marinade as a sauce, before serving, bring marinade to a rolling boil to destroy bacteria that may be present.
- Store all leftover in a shallow covered container and refrigerate. Chilling quickly prevents bacteria from growing.
- Lastly do not pack food tightly into the refrigerator or freezer as a proper air flow helps to maintain the suggested temperature for each compartment.