Safe Food Storage Knowledge for Pressure Cooking

Safe Food Storage
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Safe Food Storage

Storing food by freezing it can help you save both time and money. A freezer can be a home cook’s best friend that can enable you to preserve food in bulk, prepare your meals ahead of time, as well as keep a supply handy for the difficult times. You can freeze nearly all types of food with the exception of canned food items and eggs that still have shells on them. Canned food can only be frozen once the food item in question has been removed safely from the can.

Safe Food Storage

Being able to freeze your meals and doing it properly so that you can still enjoy the quality after you have defrosted are two completely different things. There are certain types of food that simply do not take well to the freezing process such as cream sauce. Other types of food such as poultry as well as raw meat are excellent candidates for freezing and often maintain their quality longer than most others. Therefore, for you to enjoy frozen meals, it is essential that you learn everything that you can about the freezing process. Here is everything that you need to know about proper food storage:

Are frozen foods safe for consumption?

Eating fresh food is something that most people aspire to, but it is not always convenient, which is why many people prefer to freeze their food. In any case, frozen food that has been stored at 0 °F will always be safe for consumption. The only thing that suffers once the food has been frozen is its quality.

Does freezing kill bacteria and parasites in food?

When food is frozen at 0 °F it inactivates any bacteria, mould, yeast, microbes and any other food spoiling bacteria that may be present in the food. When frozen for extended periods, microorganisms that lead to both food spoilage and foodborne illnesses cannot grow. However, once defrosted, the thawing process activates the microbes again and can even cause them to multiply under the right conditions, which can cause illness when consumed. As such, you must learn how to handle thawed foods as you would any perishable of fresh food.

How should meat for the freezer be wrapped?

The best material for wrapping meat for freezing is anything that is moisture proof and anything that can seal air out so that the moisture is locked in. as such, materials such as freezer storage bags, freezer paper that has been coated with plastic as well as plastic warps would make great materials for freezing meat. Frozen meat can be cooked properly without thawing it although the cooking time will probably be extended.

What is freezer burn and is dangerous?

When food is stored using improper storage materials that contain holes that allow air to enter, the surface dries out leaving greyish brow leathery spots. These spots are harmless when eaten but because the surface is dehydrated, it will taste tough and bland when cooked. When cooking frozen foods, you can easily remove freezer burn by cutting it away with a knife.

What is the best way to store cooked poultry and meat?

After cooking, you should try and remove bones from your meat and poultry before freezing, ensure that you wrap the cooked meat tightly to release as much air as you can and then seal and freeze the meat items at 0°F or below.

How should you defrost frozen meat?

Frozen meat can easily be defrosted in the fridge, using cold water or in the microwave oven. You should never attempt to defrost any store-wrapped meat in your microwave as the shrink wrap or storage material used may contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and a host of other chemicals that can migrate from the wrapping and into the food when heated. Before attempting to defrost meat in a microwave, be sure to remove the sore wrapping as well as the foam tray to keep your food safe.

Can you keep meat stored in a freezer safely for more than a year?

As long as the meat remains in the freezer under stable conditions that will keep it frozen throughout, it is entirely possible to keep your meat stored in a freezer for extended periods that run up to a year or more. The only thing that will be different is the quality of the food. To keep your meat stored in the best conditions possible, it is best to wrap it properly and maintain a consistent freezer temperature so that it can maintain its flavour for much longer.

Refrigerator Storage Chart

Meat to be stored in a refrigerator should be kept below 40 °F. Your meat should be refrigerated immediately after it is brought home. Before that, it should be transported in an insulated container or an ice chest until it is ready for storage in the refrigerator.

Packaged whole cuts of fresh meat can be kept in the refrigerated for 3 to 5 days after purchase in their original wrappings as long as they are stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Ground meat can be kept safely in the same conditions for 1 or 2 days. Cooked meat, on the other hand, should not be refrigerated for longer than 2 or 3 days while cooked ground meat can only be kept safely for 1 to 2 days.

Freezing Food Storage Chart

Whole cuts of meat should be frozen if you do not have any intention of cooking it within 3 to 5 days after the day of purchase. Ground meat, alternatively, should be kept in a freezer within 1 to 2 days of purchase. You should wrap your meat properly in an aluminium foil or store it in freezer paper before freezing to keep it safe and to prevent freezer burn from developing on its surface. Make sure that you label your meat with the date of storage so that you can consume them in time. Meat that contains any gravy, sauce or a mix of other ingredients should be stored in a rigid container that has a tight-fitting lid to prevent food spoilage.

Fresh MeatsRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Stew Meats1-2
Ground Meats1-2
Variety Meats1-2
Cured Processed Meats
(opened packages)
Refrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Hot Dogs7
HamRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Canned, Unopened6-9 months
Luncheon MeatsRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Corned BeefRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Drained and Wrapped7
In Unopened, Heavy Plastic45
SausageRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Raw Pork, Beef, Turkey1-2
Smoked (Links, Patties)7
Dry & Semi-Dry2-3 weeks
Cooked MeatsRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Cooked Meat, and Meat Dishes3-4
Gravy & Meat Broth1-2
Commercially Frozen MeatsRefrigerator: 35-40º F. - Days
Ground Meat3
Thin Steaks3
Meat Dinners3
Meat Pies3
Meats, Fresh
Chicken or turkey, pieces9-12 months
Chicken or turkey, whole1 year
Ducks, geese, game birds6 months
Ground meat or stew, giblets3-4 months
Lamb, roast or chops6-9 months
Pork, roasts or chops4-6 months
Sausage1-2 months
Variety meats: heart, liver, etc.3-4 months
Beef roasts9 to 12 months
Beef steaks6 to 9 months
Ground beef, veal, lamb3 to 4 months
Ground pork1 to 3 months
Ground poultry3 to 4 months
Pork and veal roasts, chops4 to 6 months
Lamb roasts, chops6 to 9 months
Poultry, whole1 year
Poultry parts6 to 9 months
Variety meats (giblets,
tongue, kidneys, liver, heart, etc.)
3 to 4 months
Meats, Cooked
Smoked breakfast sausage1-2 months
Ham, hotdogs, luncheon meats1-2 months
Cooked, leftover meat, gravy2-3 months
Cooked, leftover poultry4-6 months
Leftover chicken nuggets1-3 months
Cured or Processed Meats
Bacon1 month
Corned beef1 to 2 months
Ham2 months
Hot dogs, lunch meat1 to 2 months
Sausage1 to 2 months
Seafood, Fresh
Fresh lean fish: cod, flounder, trout,
haddock, halibut, pollack, perch
4-6 months
Fresh fatty fish: Mullet, salmon,
swordfish, mackerel, bluefish, tuna smelt
2-3 months
Shellfish3 months
Cooked Fish
Fish sticks, commercial18 months
Breaded shrimp, commercial1 year
Breaded scallops, commercial16 months
Cooked pieces3 months
*Not recommended due to safety issues.
Cooked Meats and Combinations
Casseroles4 months
Home-cooked plain meat & poultry2 to 3 months
Meat in broth or gravy2 to 3 months
Poultry in broth or gravy6 months
Fried chicken4 months
Stews3 to 4 months
Chicken nuggets or patties1 to 3 months
Meat pies2 to 3 months
Prepared dinners2 to 3 months
TV dinners2 to 6 months
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