A Basic Guide to Storing Meat

How you store your meat, whether it’s beef or poultry, is vital to preserve its quality. Whether it’s meat you’re storing for an upcoming braai or chicken to plan for the week’s dinners, here’s everything you need to know about storing meat.

Storing meat in a refrigerator

Keeping meat stored in a refrigerator is perfectly fine as long as it’s not there for too long and the refrigerator remains at the correct temperature. Fresh meat and chicken should be stored in the coldest part of the fridge at around 4℃ and no warmer than 10℃. Anything beyond the higher temperature could result in the meat perishing and possibly developing mold and harmful bacteria. Either way, you’ll know the meat is deteriorating by smell alone! 

Cured and smoked meat, including luncheon meat and canned hams, are less perishable than fresh meats. These meat products should be refrigerated in their original packaging.

Storing meat in a freezer

It’s not uncommon for households to have a freezer in the garage to store beef or poultry in preparation for spontaneous gatherings or for family dinners. Storing chicken and beef in a freezer is a fool-proof way to ensure it maintains its quality and lasts longer. If you’re concerned about freezer space, we advise trimming off the fat (if applicable) and removing any bulky bones. Avoid salting the meat before storing it in the freezer — this draws out the moisture and could cause the meat fat to oxidise, giving it an awful rancid smell and flavour, reducing the amount of time it can be stored in the freezer. 

The more unsaturated fatty acids there are in the fat, the more likely it is to oxidse and become rancid. This is why pork, which has more unsaturated fatty acids (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) than other meats, is more perishable than beef and lamb. We advise you to limit the storage of properly wrapped pork in the freezer to six months. Beef and lamb can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months.

General storage tips

Product dates listed on the packaging aren’t always the most reliable guide for the safe use of a product. So, how long can you store your meat and still use it at its best quality? Our guidance is to follow these tips:

  • Buy the product before the date expires.
  • Follow handling recommendations on product
  • Keep lamb in its package until ready to use.
  • If a product has a “use-by” date, abide by that date.
  • Once a perishable product is frozen, it doesn’t matter if the date expires because foods kept frozen continuously are safe indefinitely.
  • If the product has a “sell-by” date or no date, cook or freeze the product by the recommended times.

If you’re unsure about storing your pork, beef, or chicken products, our team can help! Get in touch or shop our range of quality wholesale pork products today. 

Van Wyngaardt’s delivery policy

Our delivery policy requires a minimum order amount depending on the region. You may order from Monday to Thursday. Should you place an order before 12:00, we assure you of next-day delivery. If you order after 12:00, the order will be delivered to you the following working day. This is only valid for Gauteng stores. Outer Gauteng stores delivery period may vary. At Van Wyngaardt, we pride ourselves on always providing exceedingly good meats.

Should you have any queries or require more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and one of our sales representatives will gladly assist you. 

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