Shelf Life

Fresh Meat Handling & Storage

When shopping
• Choose packages that are cold and tightly wrapped for freshness.
• Check the ‘best before’ dates.
• If you want a smaller portion, ask at the meat counter and they can cut one for you; this minimizes concerns about how to store extra meat.

When storing meat
• Immediately freeze any meat or poultry that you don’t plan to use within 1-3 days (it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days).
• Store for up to six months in the freezer – airtight packaging will prevent freezer burn.
• Never defrost at room temperature – defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
• In your fridge, beware of meat juices dripping onto other foods; storing meat at the bottom of the fridge is recommended.

When preparing meat
• Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling meat or poultry.
• Use two different cutting boards for raw meat and other foods to prevent cross contamination.
• Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Internal Temperature Safety Guide
Invest in a meat thermometer. They’re easy to use and can reassure you that meat has been safely and adequately cooked.

Food Cooked Internal Temperature
Hamburger 71° C (160° F)
Roasts, Steaks
(not tenderized)
63° C (145° F) medium rare
71° C (160° F) medium
77°C (170° F) well done
Ground Poultry 74° C (165° F)
Poultry Parts 82-85° C (180-185° F)
Cook until juices run clear.
Turkey 85° C (185° F)
Cook until juices run clear.
Pork 70° C (160° F) – 71° C (160° F) medium,
77° C (170° F) well done.
Fish 63° C (145° F)
Should be opaque and should flake easily.


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