All of your meat should be delivered with individual use-by dates on the packaging.
No matter what cut, though, always follow these base tips:
- Unless vacuum packed, when you get your meat home take it out of the bag and wrapping. If left inside, the meat will sweat, meaning that bacteria growth is much easier.
- Place the meat on a plate, uncovered, at the bottom of the fridge (if you have vacuum packed products just leave it in the packaging and put it in the same place). Not only only does this help the air ventilate around the meat, but the bottom is the coldest place. If you're running out of space, a tupperware container with the lid on is the next best thing.
- Keep meat, particularly chicken, away from any other foods. it's best to give yourself a whole shelf in the fridge just to store raw meat.
- Don't overfill your fridge, as this can lead to an inconsistent temperature.
- If you want to freeze the meat, always do it on the day of purchase. If your cuts are vacuum packed, do not open them - this is an ideal condition for freezing. If the meat is in normal wrapping, remove all packaging, pat the meat dry and place each cut separate in a bag with as little air as possible. Use the meat within 3 months. To defrost, remove from the freezer 24 hours before use, place in the coldest part of your kitchen 1-2 hours before cooking.
Unless stated otherwise, the use-by-dates for our wrapped products are as follows:
Beef, lamb and pork cuts: 4 days.
Chicken, sausages, burgers and mince: 3 days.
Vacuum packed products will last a little longer; you can use these within 7 days.