Meat is perishable and therefore needs to be refrigerated. Refrigerators are designed to preserve food at low temperatures so it stays fresh longer. The temperature in the refrigerator is usually between 0°F (-18°C) and 40°F (4°C).
When meat is stored in the refrigerator, its quality deteriorates over time. This deterioration is caused by bacterial growth and enzymatic reactions. The meat loses moisture, color, flavor, texture and nutrients. As a result, it becomes less appealing and unappetizing.
Meat will keep longest if stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator. The glass shelf above the vegetable crisper has a temperature of about four degrees Celsius. When storing, use a sealable container, preferably plastic or glass. Wooden boards, on the other hand, are not suitable. They can be used to properly cut meat, but the wood will drain the juices from the meat over time.
The shelf life of meat in the refrigerator at 0°- 4°C is as follows:
- Beef – up to four days.
- Veal and pork – up to two days.
- Poultry meat – up to two days.
- Offal – up to two days.
While beef in one piece or fine fillet steaks, can be stored at 0°- 4°C for up to four days, minced meat should be used on the day of purchase. Beef, like that in this rump steak dish, will keep the longest in the refrigerator. It will keep for three to four days at temperatures between zero and four degrees Celsius.
Veal and pork, for example, have a shorter shelf life and should be used or processed within two to three days. Poultry meat is very sensitive and will only keep for one to two days in the refrigerator. Offal should also not be stored for more than one or two days.