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    Food safety in home storage and food preparation for meats

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    What are the suggestions for food safety in home storage and food preparation for food items in meats category?

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    Color changes can occur in frozen foods. The bright red color of meat as purchased usually turns dark or pale brown depending on its variety. This may be due to lack of oxygen, freezer burn or abnormally long storage.
    Freeze food as quickly as possible to maintain its quality. Slow freezing creates large, disruptive ice crystals. During thawing, they damage the cells and cause meat to "drip" or lose juiciness. Ideally, food 2 inches thick should freeze completely in about two hours. If your home freezer has a "quick-freeze" shelf, use it. Never stack packages to be frozen. Instead, spread them out in one layer on the shelves, stacking them only after frozen solid.
    If a refrigerator freezing compartment can't maintain 0 °F, or if the door is opened frequently, use it only for short-term food storage. Eat those foods as soon as possible for best quality. Use a free-standing freezer set at 0 °F or below for long-term storage of frozen foods. Keep a thermometer in your freezing compartment or freezer to check the temperature
    Proper packaging helps maintain quality and prevent "freezer burn." It is safe to freeze meat or poultry directly in its supermarket wrapping, but this type of wrap is permeable to air. Unless you will be using the food in a month or two, overwrap these packages as you would any food for ...