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Do you know the correct cold storage temperatures and procedures for chilled and frozen meat? In order to sell or serve meat that is fresh, delicious and most importantly safe, it is essential that you follow the food safety guidelines. In this article we will cover the correct meat cold storage temperatures and explore ways to ensure that your business adheres to these.

Temperature For Frozen Meat

As soon as an animal is slaughtered harmful bacteria begins to grow on raw meat, which is why the produce needs to be frozen as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence to retain the flavour, texture and aesthetics, as well as to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.

By law, raw meat must be kept frozen at a minimum of -18℃ in order to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and protect consumers from illness. This is just a minimum; anything warmer than this and the meat would not be safe to sell. Many businesses involved in the meat industry choose to invest in blast freezers which can freeze meat very quickly and effectively.

If storage procedures have been followed correctly, the table below shows hows long different types of meat will stay fresh for when frozen at -18℃:

Beef12 Months
Pork8 Months
Lamb12 Months
Beef Mince6 Months
Veal10 Months
Sausages6 Months

Beef and lamb typically have a longer storage time because they are made up of hard fats, which are partially saturated. However veal and pork, which are comparatively younger meats, will deteriorate much faster as they have a lower level of saturated fat.

As well as following the above guidelines, proper quality control checks must also be carried out before selling to consumers.

Storing Meat in the Fridge

Chilled meat and poultry, which is kept in a refrigerated container, should be stored at a temperature no higher than 4°C to effectively inhibit the growth of dangerous pathogenic bacteria. Anything warmer than this would be putting consumers at risk of illness. The best practice temperature for storing raw meats should be followed meticulously if you are a business operating in the food industry.

When it comes to storing meats in the fridge, as a general rule the sooner meat is consumed after purchase, the safer it is. The table below shows how long you can store different types of meat in the fridge for:

Beef4 Days
Pork4 Days
Beef Mince2 Days
Pork Mince2 Days
Chicken2 Days
Veal3 Days

When it comes to serving meat for consumption, always trust your senses as some produce may spoil more quickly or slowly than others. If it doesn’t look right or doesn’t smell right, don’t take a chance on it!

If you aren’t planning to serve meat within the timescales in the table above, it’s always best to freeze it to keep it at its safest and tastiest.

How can I store meat cost effectively?

Having the right equipment is essential for the cost-effective and safe storage of meat. Cutts Refrigeration are specialists in refrigeration within the food industry; we can provide a bespoke solution for your business that enables you to efficiently keep produce fresher for longer periods of time.

We consultants with specifiers and site operators for the ability to design and install refrigeration systems that provide the highest levels of site efficiency and performance for critical applications. It is our aim to deliver the most efficient and environmentally practical cold storage and chilled display solutions.

Talk to our team today to learn more, or browse our website to see our range of refrigeration services for the food industry.