As many of you may be new to using this economical method of providing your family with quality meat products we thought some basic food safety information would be useful.
You will be taking delivery of your purchase frozen so I am not going to elaborate on storage except to remind you to keep it frozen until you are ready to use it.
Basics for Handling Food Safely:
Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential to prevent foodborne illness. You can’t see, smell or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four steps of the Food Safe Families campaign to keep food safe:
Clean- Wash hands and surfaces often.
Separate – Don’t cross-contaminate.
Cook – Cook to the right temperature.
Chill- Refrigerate promptly.
- Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
Don’t cross contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash cutting board utensils and counter tops with hot soapy water.
- Cutting board, utensils, and counter tops can be sanitized by using a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water.
- Marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator.
- :The refrigerator allows slow, safe thawing. Make sure thawing meat and poultry juices do not drip onto other food.
- For faster thawing, place food in a leak proof plastic bag. Submerge in cold tap water. Change water every 30 minutes. Cook immediately after thawing.
- Cook meat and poultry immediately after microwave thawing.
- Cooking all raw beef,pork,lamb,and veal steak, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C) as measured with a food thermometer, before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minuets before carving or consuming. For reasons of personally preferences,consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
- Cook all raw ground beef,pork,lamb and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C) as measured with a food thermometer.
- Cook all poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C) as measured with food thermometer.
- Hot food should be held at 140 ° F (60°C) or warmer.
- Cold food should be held at 40 °F (4.4°C) or colder.
- When serving food at a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Keep food cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often.
- Perishable food should not be left out more than 2 hours at room temperature- 1 hour when the temperature is above 90°F (32.2°C).
- Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours – 1 hour if the temperature was above 90°F (32.2°C).
- Place food into a shallow containers and immediately put in the refrigerator or freezer for rapid cooling.
- Use cooked leftovers within 4 days.
- Reheat leftovers to 165 °F (73.9 °C).
For more information, please visit the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/home click “topics” on the home page, choose Food Safety Education and click Fact Sheets. Many categories of specific interest are available.