When you stock up on Grass Fed Beef Steaks from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, it’s vital to know how to safely store your meat. When meats are incorrectly stored or handled, bacteria can multiply and cause illness. Keep in mind that frozen beef does not lose its nutritional value when stored properly.
When beef is raised using regenerative agriculture methods, the grazing practices lead to healthier soil and plants as well as cattle. These cattle do not receive antibiotics, growth hormones, or grain. They do not experience confinement feeding but consume grass on open lands as nature intended. Not only does this lead to meat with more nutrients, but these techniques can help combat climate change.
Correct storage of raw meat is essential. Incorrect storage can lead to bacterial contamination, including E.coli. Food poisoning can result. Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat.
Use the bottom shelf in the refrigerator to store raw meat. Place the container on a plate so that juices do not escape. If put on a higher shelf, the juice could leak out onto the food below it. Keep the raw meat container away from any other foods to avoid cross-contamination. Of course, if the refrigerator has a special meat bin, use that. Always cover raw meat in the refrigerator.
In general, it is safe to store raw meat in the refrigerator for up to five days. Much will depend on the type and cut. While beef other than hamburger should safely last up to five days, make sure chicken is used by the third day. Ground beef should not stay in the refrigerator for more than two days.
Always check the refrigerator temperature when adding raw meat. Make sure it is between 38 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer temperatures are insufficient to keep bacteria at bay. At cooler temperatures, bacteria will spread eventually, but more slowly.
If meat develops an off odor or does not look right, do not use it.
In the Freezer
No matter the cut of beef, it should prove safe to store in the freezer for up to one year. There is an exception. Ground beef should be used within three to four months.
How about freezing leftovers? Cooked meat that is then frozen is safe to store for between two and six months. If beef is added to stews or soups, the frozen portion is good for two to three months.
Technically, meat stored at zero degrees – the ideal freezer temperature – is safe indefinitely, but it is always better to err on the side of caution. Overly long storage will affect quality.
Try putting meat in the freezer while it still has at least a use day or two left. You do not want to freeze it when it is on the verge of spoiling.
Most people are likely told at some point that you cannot refreeze meat safely. There was a time when that was true, but modern freezers and packaging changed the equation. Still, take certain precautions. Do not refreeze meat left out more than two hours. If the temperature outside hits 90 degrees or more, the time limit is one hour.
There is a loss of taste and moisture in refrozen meat.
In the refrigerator, butcher paper is your best choice, as storing meat for several days is what it is designed to do. You can freeze beef in butcher paper, but wrap the paper tightly and place it in a Ziploc bag. This lessens moisture and air exposure.
100% Grass Fed Beef Delivery to Your Home
Our 100% grass fed beef is leaner and healthier than the grain fed variety. These cattle are indeed on grass for their lifetimes. Visit our online store today to view our offerings, and take advantage of our 100% grass fed beef delivery options and our money-saving subscriptions. Eat holistically, eat well, at Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed.