Proper Handling and Food Safety
There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to safely storing and handling meat. We’ve answered some common questions that surround the unknown of storing meat products.
What is the safest way to handle beef while shopping?
When choosing your ground beef, make sure that you choose a package that is properly refrigerated and completely sealed. For safekeeping, place the beef in a plastic bag so all juices will be contained.
How should I handle ground beef once I get home from the store?
When meat gets between the temperatures of 40–140F°, it's in perfect condition for bacteria to multiply. Make sure that you are reducing growth by refrigerating or freezing within two hours of purchasing.
How do I make sure I am handling my beef safely when prepping and cooking?
There are four basic rules to ensure you are following all food safety guidelines:
Rule 1. Clean:
Make sure to wash your hands, as well as all surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw meat.
Rule 2. Separate:
Keep all raw meat away from other foods to keep bacteria from spreading. Put down a layer of Glad® Press’n Seal® to protect the surface that you’re using to prepare your meat.
Rule 3. Cook:
Cook your meat to a minimum safe internal temperature of 160°F, so all bacteria are destroyed.
Rule 4. Chill:
Be sure to refrigerate your raw beef patties promptly to reduce bacteria. Don’t wait more than two hours before popping them in the fridge to ensure they stay good.
How to Store Beef Patties
Proper storing of your beef patties is crucial to preserving freshness and minimizing bacteria. Use or freeze the meat within two days of purchasing. If refrigerating for quick use, keep your beef in its original packaging, because it’s designed to maximize the shelf life of the meat. If freezing, be sure to remove the beef from the store packaging and wrap it in Glad® Press’n Seal® to keep air out and freshness in. This step is important for preserving your beef patties.
Fridge and Freezer Tips
The refrigerator and freezer are definitely your friends when storing the ground beef you purchase. When you’re preparing to use your ground beef after freezing, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. Raw meat can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days and kept frozen up to four months.
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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