Meat is the most important part of the basic meals in every home, and an essential source in providing our bodies with animal protein. Meat eaters differ in different cultures and regions.

But we often have problems with the safety of everything we eat, and that includes meat. But most of us do not have enough information about healthy food, safe cooking methods and storage methods.

Meat is a fertile environment for many bacteria and fungi that can grow in it if it is not taken care of and handled in the correct and safe way. Therefore, it is very important to deal with all types of meat and store it safely, and for this we have collected for you everything you need to know about choosing meat, storing and handling it, and even the cooking stage, to ensure its safety and preserve your health and the health of those around you.

The first step in your safety is the safety and accuracy of choosing the right meat. Here are the following tips:

  • Fatty meat contains a high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol. Always try to focus your choice on low-fat meat as much as possible, especially if you suffer from lipidemia.
  • Some processed meats may contain carbohydrates. So if you're eating large amounts, be sure to read the nutritional facts on food labels.
  • Make sure to accurately determine the size of the daily food portion.
  • It is preferable to reduce the consumption of high-fat meat to three times a week.
  • Liver and kidney meat are rich in cholesterol, so try to limit your consumption to three times a week
  • Avoid any lamb that has an unpleasant odor or is green in color
  • Avoid any beef that is dark brown or discolored, has a strong odor, or is tough or sticky.
  • Avoid any poultry that looks lackluster, has a strong odor, or is tough or sticky.
  • Avoid any fish that is faded in color, has spongy or sticky flesh, and has a strong smell like fish or ammonia.
  • Avoid any meat with damaged or torn packaging, as it is likely to have been exposed to air and harmful bacteria.

And after choosing it correctly, dealing with meat comes in second place, which preserves your safety and health. Here are 5 healthy ways to deal with meat.

  • Wash your hands frequently when preparing any kind of meat, fish, or poultry. Bacteria can spread quickly between your hands and the meat.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling meat, whether raw or cooked.
  • Because bacteria can easily spread, prepare the meat on a separate surface from all other cooking materials. Keep vegetables and other ingredients away from the meat, especially if you don't cook them together in the same dish.
  • Try to use separate cutting boards, clean all cooking utensils after you touch raw meat, and use different serving utensils after preparing food.
  • In order to use the microwave to defrost meat, it must be placed in a special unwrapped container and select the defrost feature. When cooking frozen meat immediately without thawing, it will take longer to cook than unfrozen meat.

Then comes the most important step on which the safety of the meat depends, and then your safety, which is the storage of the meat. In order to ensure your safety, here are the correct storage methods and duration for different types of meat:

  • Proper storage of meat helps maintain the quality of the meat for a longer period.
  • The carcass should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than 60 minutes
  • Make sure to pack it well
  • The meat must be kept in the refrigerator before being transferred to the freezer for a period of not less than 6 hours.
  • Frozen meat is kept at a temperature of (-18) Celsius.
  • Meat is kept in a designated part away from other foods.
  • Keep the area designated for meat in the refrigerator and freezer clean.
  • Get rid of spoiled meat by putting it in a well-locked bag and destroying it in the designated places.

The following are general guidelines for how long staple meats can be kept safely if stored properly

Safe storage in the freezer

Safe storage in the refrigerator

types of meat

Nine months a piece
part year

1-2 days

Uncooked chicken

Three to four months

1-2 days

Red meat

Four to six months

Three to four days

Steak and feathers

six months

1-2 days

Uncooked fish

Two to four months

Three to four days

Chicken, fish and cooked red meat

One to two months maximum

Unpacked for a week
Packaged for two weeks

Hot dogs, sausages and marinated meats

In order for all the steps to be completed safely, here are important instructions when planning and cooking meals :

  • Steamed or grilled meat is better than that fried in fat.
  • Use non-stick cookware when cooking meat so you don't use too much oil.
  • Try to remove as much visible fat from the meat as possible before cooking.
  • Watch the heat. When animal proteins are cooked at high temperatures, such as grilling and frying, chemical compounds are formed that are difficult to digest and bad for your health. Therefore grilling over indirect heat and frying at lower temperatures are two ways to avoid these compounds.

General advice about food safety

  • Do not eat raw meat because it causes poisoning, including liver or other things.
  • Choose low-fat cuts of meat, eat vegetables and fruits, and do not eat too much meat to avoid digestive disorders.
  • Make sure to put the meat in the fridge for 6 hours after freezing and before cooking it to avoid bacteria
  • Do not leave the frozen meat at room temperature for more than two hours, and it is preferable to use a fan or air current to prevent bacteria from forming.
  • Put a cup of ice and place a riyal on it in case you leave the house for long periods, and when you return, make sure that the riyal is still on top of the ice and not inside it, meaning that the electric current has been cut off from the refrigerator and the food is spoiled.
  • Well-packed meat can be placed in cold water after freezing, changing the water every 30 minutes.
  • Replace sponges and kitchen towels regularly.
  • Washing dishes and cutting boards with dirty sponges and towels can spread more bacteria.
  • Bacteria and other pathogens also grow on sponges and washcloths over time, so be sure to clean your sponge thoroughly every day and replace it once a week.

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