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Name: Amy H.
Status: Student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: August 2002


Question:
I am interested in knowing the absolute BEST way to store meat in the fridge in order that the least amount of, and least dangerous kind of bacteria will grow. Basically, my questions are Wrapped vs. Unwrapped? And airtight vs. ventilated?



Replies:
Dear Amy,

Your concerns to store meat correctly in the fridge are correct, but rather than worry about wrapped or airtight storage, there are two more important factors: temperature and time. Make sure your fridge is 5 to 7 degrees Centigrade in those compartments you use for meat. Check it with a thermometer if in doubt. Do not store uncooked meat for longer than 2 days (48 hr) at that temperature, and cooked meat for no longer than 4 days. These are no guarantee that the meat would still be ok, though I would not eat meat that has been stored longer than this. Check the meat before consumption: a slight decoloring is not problematic, it is due to oxidation of the hemoglobin in the meat. More telling is the smell. A faint sour smell is a bad sign, and would affect taste.

Do not put meat in the fridge warm or hot: leave it cool first. Finally, treat ALL uncooked meat with proper hygienic rules: wash hands before and after handling, wash utensils and cutting board before using them on other food stuff.

This way you have done all that is sensible to protect yourself.

Trudy Wassenaar


To prevent bacterial contamination it is best to wrap your meat, preferably airtight. This will prevent spread of bacteria throughout your refrigerator. However, the very best is to store meat in the freezer.

When preparing your meat make sure you remember to do this step separately, in its own area of the kitchen and with its own set of utensils. Wash your hands before and after preparing. And before moving on, bleach the area thoroughly.

Also, cook meat to well done. Raw or uncooked meat always has an increased risk of food poisoning.

Saundra Sample



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