The butcher shares his helpful tips on safe meat handling and storage.
If you’re running several errands at once, leave the groceries till the end. This way, foods that require refrigeration will get home quickly.
When you’re in the store, leave the meat until the end to minimize its time in your cart. Ask that your meat be packed in a separate bag, so that you can pop the whole thing in the fridge as soon as you get in the door.
There are all sorts of cutting boards out there. While it might be tempting to choose one that matches your kitchen, it is more important to buy a board that is dishwasher-safe, durable and non-porous. Any scratches, dents or cuts in the board are potential hiding places for bacteria.
One of the first rules of the kitchen is to use more than one cutting board – one for raw meat and another for fruits and vegetables. You can use different coloured cutting boards to help make it easier to remember which one is for which food. This one simple tip is handy for multi-tasking, and makes for a safer kitchen.
Finally: never, ever use a cutting board that has been in contact with raw meat before you clean it properly with hot, soapy water.
How many times have you looked at your sponge, and found that it’s dirtier than the surface you’re cleaning? Well, toss it! Bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli can grow on sponges.
There are many disposable options for cleaning. Use a paper towel or a wipe, as bacteria from spoiled food can travel quickly.
When using a marinade, never use the leftovers to baste meat while cooking. If you plan to use your marinade to baste meat while cooking, reserve a cup of it for that purpose.
To be safe, always defrost your meat and poultry in the fridge, unless cooking instructions indicate otherwise. By defrosting meat in the fridge, the frozen food will save energy by cooling your fridge compartment!
Keep meat in a plastic bag or a deep dish on the bottom shelf of the fridge to minimize spills, drips – and the risk of cross-contamination with other foods.
Be sure to use a good quality brush to clean your barbeque. Old or poor quality brushes have been known to ‘shed’ their bristles, leaving small pieces of metal debris on the grill.
Don’t reuse the hot soapy water from cleaning utensils that have come in contact with raw meat and poultry. Drain the sink, and fill it with fresh, hot water prior to cleaning other items.