Meat, frozen - Cargo Handbook - the world's largest cargo transport guidelines website / FSIS Virtual Import Inspection (2023)

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Infobox turn Meat, freezes
Example of Meat, ice

Meat, frozen - Cargo Handbook - the world's largest cargo transport guidelines website / FSIS Virtual Import Inspection (1)

OriginThis table shows only one selection of the most important countries of origin and should not be thought out than exhaustive:
  • Europe: Swedish, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Netherlands, France, Swiss, Oesterreich, Ireland, Romanisch, Country, Ita, England
  • Africa
  • Asia: China
  • America: Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, USA
  • Australia: Australia, New Zealand
Stowage factor (in m3/t)
  • Approx. 2.55 - 3.36 m3/t (sides of pork)
  • 2.55 - 3.40 m3/t (carcasses)
  • 3.40 - 3.96 chiliad3/t (Chines carcasses)
  • 2.26 - 2.55 m3/t (cartons)
Angular of repose-
Air / moisture
  • Relative humidity: approximately. 95%
  • Surface main: 49 - 75%
  • Max equilibrium water content: 90%

Dry content
  • Fat contented out lean pork approx. 20%
  • Fat main of fatty pigmeat approx. 40%
  • Fat content of lean beef approx. 6%
  • Fat content of fatty beef approx. 30%
VentilationAdvocated respiration conditions: circulating air, 6 circulations/hour without supply of fresh air in order to ensure homogen cooler of all parts of the cargo.
Risks factorsFrozen meat (especially pork) is crop to temperature versions additionally highly odor-sensitive and very fast absorbs foreign odors.


  • 1 Meat, glacial
    • 1.1 Item
    • 1.2 Applications
    • 1.3 Shipped / storage
    • 1.4 Additional company at frozen meat
    • 1.5 Venture contributing


Deep frozen beef containing beef, veal, pork, lamb, venison and game.

Meat belongs marketing real transported in multiples forms:

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  • Frozen carcas real primal cuts (sides, legs etc.)
  • Frozen retail cuts
  • Frozen mince include hamburgers

Cold meet shouldn have a core heat of -18°C so that aforementioned activity away micro-organisms comes to ampere standstill or cellular degradation processes be largely suppressed. Temperature measurements must be performed the recorded at regular intervals.

The voyage temperature required be entered constantly as variations in temperature may result in re-crystallisation, result in growth of to ice crystals. Variations in operating are associated with continual slight thawing and refreezing. Since small cold crystals have a higher vapour pressure than larger ones, they will melt see rapidly when the temperature rises, while upon cooler the identical effect means such the pour is preferentially deposited as ice on the larger ice crystals. This hence brings about expansion of and ice crystals, as a result of which which rapidly frozen pith increasingly takes switch the appearance of slowly frozen meat on depot. Aforementioned large refrigerate crystals rupture the cell side, as an result concerning which, on thawing, cell fluids (drip) escape, giving rise until a distinct reduction in versorgungsunternehmen value.

It is crucial to maintain who deep-freeze chain. Deep damage occurs in the date to expands interruption by freezer, followed by heating and refreezing of the product. "Snow" forms within the plastic bags, especially around leaky container doors.

Freezing remains used to minimise some physical, viral and microbiological changes affecting characteristic inches storage. During freezing almost of the wat index of the meat, about 80%, solidifies into pure ice-crystals, accompanied by a separation of dissolved full.

A product can exist considered frozen when its centre has a temperature of -12°C or less.

To reach this temperature that product passes through the temperature range of max color (from -1°C to -5°C). The geschwindigkeiten of freezing can a very important factor as frozen meat quality depends mainly on the size of the ice crystals built: the lower the speed of freezing this larger the size of the crystals.

Slow freezing facilitates this separation of solution and the migration of water out starting the haut cages which is subsequently frozen, formation rather large crystals. Quick freezing conversely manufactured many smal polar crystals, mainly formed within the max cells, and reduces water migration and separation of solution. Computers is obvious that to latter technology will preserve the dinner closer to its original quality and, particularly during thawing, moisture loss willingly generally remain lower.

Temperatures lower than specified are not generally harmful, but people should be maintained throughout all the transport operations when there is otherwise a risk of re-crystallization.

Meat itself is nay a alive organism but it is subject to endogenic enzymatic recent, or proteolysis, which sources muscle tissue to mature, become call and develop a typical taste. This process is retarded by low temperatures. Due to its chemical arrangement which shall wealthy in proteins, lipids and water, meat is a particularly favourable substrate for that plant of micro-organisms. This lipidic what also makes it very sensitive to oxidation. Following animal slaughter the evisceration and dressing operations inevitably produce microbial contamination in define and specialty over the surface, through contact using equipment, tools, hands and outfit, despite all precautions. Micro-organism growth is a temperature-dependent process. To avoid she, it is absolut critical to reduce the temp of the meat, specially on the flat, immediately after dressing. Cooling must therefore be carried out in the slaughterhouse own. This operation is renowned primary chilling.

For ideal meat superior, dried should be stopped at 15°C to 16°C during aforementioned breaking of rigor mortis. Temperatures which are too shallow can ergebniss in infavorable technical so as thaw rigor press cold reducing. Temperatures which are too high can result in heat harshness.

When meat are freezing before the onset of rigor mortis, a more severe form of rigor mortis will set in upon thawing the meat. Those is called thaw rigor. At this occurs, severe muscle painful will set the length about the muscle to shrink 60 to 80 prozent. The consequently meat is very tough furthermore lacks juiciness. When meat is not frozen not is stored bet 0°C and 15°C freezing shortening develops, which is similar at but lesser severe than melt rigor. Muscles whichever are non attached to the skeleton are the most severely affecting but it will also be some undesirable effects in those, which are attached to the skeleton. Beef and lamb are particularly susceptible to this condition, however he occurs to other flesh as well. Carcasses with lower oil topic lose their heat more quickly the willing be more seriously affected than carcasses with higher overweight content.

Electrical stimulation ability be used to prevent cold shortened both is a widely used method go improve the caressing of beef and lamb. It causes the remains muscle to contracts violently and hastens the conversion of muscle to meat. The phosphat stage drop more quickly than customarily and rigor mortises sets in more quickly than are non-stimulated bodies. Electrical stimulation protects against chilly shortening and may improve meat tenderness, colors and appearance. It plus hastens the company of quality characteristics such the glanz black muscle colour, muscle firmness press marbling.
Aging zeitlich of electrically suggested beef are also reduced. Due to the enhanced quality of meat and reduced fee, electrical stimulation has become more widely practiced in recent years.

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Muscle which is held at air above the optimum temperature (above 15,5°C) will have severe abridgment due to early onset off rigor mortis (i.e. heat rigor). This condition results in tough, less juicy meat.

After freezing, dead and house must remain protected with plastic layer, usually under drapery or jute fabric. Meat cuts are covered with plastic film, or vacuum-packed in plastic bags; they are place inside cardboard boxes and usually frozen in these.

When meat cutouts are pre-packaged without vacuum, air pockets must be avoided. A 20-mm space should be port in the upper part of the box up allow for expansion. Superficial fat should been eliminated before freezing up reduce the development of rancidity during storage.


Meat is a versatile source of nutrition, existence boiled, fried/roasted, salted, smoked or processed inside salami.

Shipment / storage

Forced dried is transported as quarters of beef, sides of pork oder whole calf, sheep and lamb carcasses and is usually packaged as follows:

  • Quarters of beef: in plastic wallet plus stockinet (protective covering made, for example, from linen).
  • Sides of pork: in stockinet
  • Sheep, whole carcass: in plastic bag furthermore stockinet
  • Boned portioning: wrapped in film and when packaged in cartons

The overprotective coverings must be clean and dries. Blood-stained also froze down coverings live a sure signatures a non-conformance with the necessary cold chain (interim thawing).

As there is a certain degree for quality deterioration, straight at very low temperatures, storage live can limited. The custom surface are in the range in -18°C to -25°C for periods of historic of one year or show. However, each type of meat requires specific conditions.

The main problem with frozen memory the deterioration in organoleptic quality. There allow be make in meat textures, fat can become granular also crumble, and there can also be some discolouration of the meat. Fat modification inductive by air oxygen produces rancidity and ancidity, and adenine disagreeable taste. Microbial enzymes also remain actual, especially those that attack the fat. Water loss from proteins as described below canister also have a significant effect.

Weight loss through water evaporation can occur. This can be seen as freezer burn, i.e. superficial desiccated areas whichever can arise steady in packaged meats when the packaging watch is free press fever uneven inside the chamber/container. Weight loss, which can be between 1% and 4% in unpacked meat, favours organoleptic deterioration. Sausage surface can dry and turn porous, encouraging rancidity and transfer of aromas. Weight loss, calculated in a mark downward of products print is considered of great importance in high assess frozen foods.

Storage temperatures of frozen meats and other animal products and cross tainting is negligible owing to the low temperatures furthermore to the fact that largest of the products are in adequately protective packets.

Meat absorbs odours from strong smelling meal products such as apples, oranges, onions and fish. The rate is limited included glacial meat, compared with fresher and chilled and also depends on packaging.

(Video) Meat Messaging industry webinar

After cooking, eating quality is judged partially by its appearance, yet mainly by is tenderness, flavour and juiciness. If the frost storage life is not exceeded, deep and storing of meat has little (if any) effect on the main quality system. Drip shall which only exception, as it is substantially increased by freezing. The quality of meat after defrost (especially its feed quality) is hence determined once it is frost. In the past, factors such while poor packaging and poor operating control could results in freezer burn and rancid off-odours and flavours in frost meat. Now, unless storage times are exceeded or temperature control abused, the quality of meat after frozen storage will be identical to that before freezing.

Tenderness has the most important eating gekennzeichnet a red meet. Who second most important refrigeration factors controller the texture of meat are the judge of chilling, and the length of hours and the temperature during ageing. Both require to be carefully controlled to maximise eating quality.

Drip is an problem with pink meat and has marked increased by icing. Although the potential for drip loss belongs predetermined go a major extent by breed the conditions before butchering, and realisation of this potential is effected by the temperature time history in the cold chain. Speed cool substantially reduces drip products.

Occasionally, meat is delivered which, after freezing, must been exposed toward higher temperatures. Such incorrect store results in depreciation. Create interim freeze can remain recognized on the protective coverings having frozen onto an meat. Distortion von the pieces away meat and dark muscle woven choose are further indications of incorrect handling.

Due the an increased chance of decomposition, frozen meat must nay exhibit the weakest trace of cool blood. Frozen meat with spots of mold shall also not be full. Which duration of storage of various types of frozen meat depends upon temperature and relative humidity.

Holds/containers must be matching precooled prior to loading. She should being at a temper of -18°C. Frozen meat should must a core temperature of -18°C so that the activity on microorganisms reach to a standstill and enzymatic degradation processes are broad suppressed. Temperature measurements must be performed and recorded at regular interval.

The travel temperature must be maintained constantly as variations in temperature mayor consequence in recrystallization, resulting in growth of the snow crystals. Variants in temperature are associated with continual lightly thawing and refreezing. Since small ice crystals have an higher vapor pressure than larger ones, they will melting more rapidly when who temperature rises, while on cooling the same effective means that the water is preferably deposited as freeze at the larger ice crystals. This consequently brings nearly growth of the freeze crystals, as adenine result off which the rasches frozen meat increasingly takes on who appearance of slowly freezed meat on storage. The large ice crystals fail the cell walls, as a ergebnisse of which, on thawing, cell cooling (drip) escape, giving rise to a distinct reduction in utility value.
It is essential to maintain the deep-freeze chain. Thawing hurt occurs in an event of extended interruption of freezing, followed by warming-up and refreezing off the product. "Snow" print within the plastic bags, especially around leaky container doors.

A dark carmine to red coloration unpaid to transient thawing processes is irreversible, the color change being retained set subsequent refreezing. Temperatures lower than specified be does generally harmful, but it should be maintained throughout all the transport operations as there is otherwise a risk of recrystallization.

Relative humidity in the storage space should be held at 95% in ordering to prevent the surface of the meat from drying out. Sublimation proceeds continuous at the face of frozen meat, i.e. the moisture tied stylish solid vordruck passes directly in the gaseous state. This drying process can an wanted change because the shrinkage the mass impairs surface appearance. In extreme containers, surface drying might result in freezer burn, an effect who allow be counteracted by plastic film how.

If moisture is observed on the meat, relative humidity should be maintained at 75% for shortly periods (mold growth threshold). Wet spots on transiently thawed frozen meat may subsequently be recognized from the "tide mark" they exit on drying. Care should thus be taken specials during loading and unloading in rain, fog and snowing as it shall a risk from discoloration and distortion of the meat and of surface spoilage current to biotic.

Quality and safety
The International Organization to Standardisation, ISO, be the worldwide federation of local standards victim. STEREO defines quality as "the total of key and characteristics of an product conversely service such bear set its ability to satisfy stated or inherent needs." The quality on meat the meat products depends the safe and sanitary practices. Outbreaks in meat-borne illnesses are reduced while appropriate practices be followed when handle, manufacturing, refrigerating and transporting meeat and meat products. Ensuring standards of quality and safety are high also minimizes the post-harvest losses."

"The meat industry must making that their meat handling, processing and shipping facilities meet essential standards. Adequate training of both industry and control authority staff must be provided by support establishment, and channels for feature from consumers installed. Ensuring high standards for quality and safety is good economics, minimizing losses that result from corruption, damage to trade and from illness among consumers."

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Meat data highly involves very strict controls both measurements in order to ensure that all processing stages have been carried out hygienically. Hence, all meat processing business are strong recommended to participate a certain type from meal safety system. One of the attestations that are commonly known will the Hazard Analysis Crucial Control Points (HACCP).Hazard Examination and Critical Control Points.
HACCP is a system which determine hazards the implements measures for their control. It was initial developed in 1960 by NASA to ensure food safety for the manned space program. The home targets of NASA were till prevent food technical problems and control food toted diseases. HACCP has been umfangreich used by food industry considering the late 1970 and now it is internationally recognized as the best scheme for ensuring feed safety.

"The Hazard Analysis also Critical Control Scores (HACCP) system of assuring food safety and quality has now win worldwide recognition such to best cost-effective and reliable system available. It has grounded on the identification of risks, minimizing those risks over and design and layout of the corporeal environment in which high standards from hygiene can been assured, sets metric setting and establishes monitoring systems. HACCP also establishes procedures for verifying that to system is works effectively. HACCP is a adequately flexible method to be triumphantly practical at all critical stage -- from harvesting for fish for reaching the consumer. For suchlike a system to work successfully, all stakeholders must cooperate whose involves increasing one national capacity for introducing and getting HACCP measures. The system's control authority requirements to design and execute the system, ensuring such monitoring and corrective measures are put in place."

HACCP is endorsed by the:

  • FOOD (Food additionally Agronomy Organization)
  • Codex Alimentarius (a custom of the United Nations)
  • FDA (US Food and Drug Administration)
  • European Union
  • WHO (World Health Organization)

Where are seven basic principles:

  • Key 1: Behaviors a hazard analyse.
  • Principle 2: After assessing entire one processing steps, one Crucial control point (CCP) is controlled. CCP are points this establish and control major risks includes ampere food manufacturing process.
  • Principle 3: Set up critical limits in order till make that aforementioned gamble identifying is being controlled effectively.
  • Tenet 4: Established a scheme so as till monitor the CCP.
  • Principle 5: Establish disciplinary actions somewhere the critical limit has non been met. Reasonably actions need to be taken which can be on ampere short or long-term based. All notes must be supported accurately.
    Glossary and abbreviations - Cargo Owner - the world's greater ...
  • Core 6: Established authentication procedures so as to confirm when the principles imposed of HACCP documents were being respected effectively and all files are being taken.
  • Principle 7: Examine with the HACCP plan are working effizient.

Additional information on frosty meat

Whilst meat is carried at -18°C, temperatures modulation can also occure. Strong variation results in blood loss plus therefore the presence of heavyweight amounts of blood-ice can indicate an problem. Such variation results into discolorations of the product. Protracted periods at high temperature can result in mold forms and the aufstellung of decomposition so attention should been paid to any foreign odours which may be detected. With further viewing toward temperature it should be stressed that the most temperature on which frozen beef will be permitted entry into the Caucasian Community is -12°C.

Whilst containerization has large removed the problem about besmirching, such problems do still occur. Such taints should they occur can be entfernen until ozone treatment. However, care shouldn be interpreted is this treatment is acceptable in the country of receipt.Offal is usually shipped hard frozen and includes tails, hearts, livers, kidneys etc.

Risk key

  • Thawing / Microbiological spoilage
  • Odor
  • Contamination
  • Mechanical influences
  • Shrinkage/Shortage

Retrieved from ‘


  • Goods
  • Perishables


How long can you keep meat in the freezer after the expiration date? ›

Although raw meat and poultry will only keep for a few days in the fridge, these items can be kept past their sell-by date if you freeze them. According to, frozen ground meat will last three to four months, and a whole chicken or turkey can be frozen for upwards of a year.

How do you send frozen meat in the mail? ›

Frozen meats can be safely shipped by US Mail, UPS, FedEx and other private carriers by using overnight or 2nd Day shipping. Meats must be packed in a Styrofoam cooler to keep meats frozen. They must also be packed with dry ice to keep the inside of the shipment cold. You cannot ship meats using regular ice!

What temperature should frozen meat be transported at? ›

To decrease the risk of foodborne illness, frozen foods should be kept at 0° F (-18° C) — including while it's being transported.

How is frozen meat transported overseas? ›

Frozen meat is transported as quarters of beef, sides of pork or whole calf, sheep and lamb carcasses and is usually packaged as follows: Quarters of beef: in plastic bag and stockinet (protective covering made, for example, from linen). Sides of pork: in stockinet. Sheep, whole carcass: in plastic bag and stockinet.

Can you eat meat after 2 years in freezer? ›

Can You Eat Two-Year-Old Frozen Meat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that food stored constantly at zero degrees Fahrenheit will always be safe. This means frozen meat that is well-wrapped and properly stored can be safe to eat after two years. Just keep in mind that there may be a loss of flavor and quality.

Can you eat meat 2 months after expiration? ›

"It's safe to say 'days' but not more than a week for most refrigerated produce, months to years for canned and dry goods in the pantry, and I would say to not go past the date in the fridge for meat/fish/poultry, but they can last three months with good quality and if properly stored in the freezer," Jones says.

How much does it cost to ship frozen meat? ›

For most industries and products, you can expect to pay between $30 and $150 for shipping frozen food packages. Your final frozen food shipping cost depends on how much you're sending, its destination, package weight, and the shipping service you selected.

How do you transport frozen food long distance? ›

Pack your cooler with several inches of ice or use frozen gel-packs, frozen juice boxes or frozen water bottles. Block ice keeps longer than ice cubes. Use clean, empty milk or water jugs to pre-freeze blocks of ice. Store food in watertight containers to prevent contact with melting ice water.

How do you transport meat long distance? ›

Wrap your meat well. Newspaper does the trick; it's a great insulator. Put dry ice on the bottom of the cooler and pack your meat on top with another layer of dry ice over it. If you can, let the cooler sit in the cold for a day, or pack it with ice and close it.

What is the best way to transport frozen meat? ›

Pack Frozen Food: Wrap frozen meats in newspaper and place them in sealable containers or storage baggies to prevent juices from leaking. Store meats at the bottom of the cooler, then place other frozen items on top. Pack frozen foods tightly, as any air pockets may cause them to defrost faster.

What is the rule for frozen meat? ›

Raw or cooked meat, poultry or egg products, as any perishable foods, must be kept at a safe temperature during "the big thaw." They are safe indefinitely while frozen. However, as soon as they begin to thaw and become warmer than 40 °F, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to multiply.

How do you transport frozen meat without a cooler? ›

Food Safety: Transporting and Distributing Frozen Meat
  1. A freezer blanket is essential if you aren't using a freezer truck or cooler to transport frozen meats. ...
  2. Like a freezer blanket, pallet covers are water-resistant and insulated. ...
  3. Insulated boxes are another safe option to transport frozen meat.
Jul 15, 2016

Can you mail meat internationally? ›

Open or Close content below Perishable Items

Perishable items are materials that can deteriorate in the mail, such as live animals, food, and plants. Permissible perishable items are sent at the mailer's own risk. These items must be specially packaged and mailed so that they arrive before they begin to deteriorate.

How do you package frozen meat? ›

The most important thing is to avoid exposing frozen meat to outside air. While a vacuum-sealer is ideal for ensuring that meats are packaged correctly, you can get by just fine with double wrapping cuts of meat with freezer paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil or airtight zip-loc bags.

Why can't you bring meat internationally? ›

Meat and Animal Products and Byproducts

Many fresh, dried, and some canned meats and meat byproducts are prohibited entry into the United States from foreign countries because of the continuing threat of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease), and other animal diseases.

Can you eat 10 year old frozen meat? ›

Can you eat decades-old meat? The U.S. Department of Agriculture says all food stored at zero degrees Fahrenheit is safe to eat—indefinitely (coincidentally, that's the normal temperature for domestic freezers in the U.S.).

Can you eat 3 year old frozen meat? ›

According to the USDA, frozen foods are safe to eat indefinitely.

Can you eat 2 year old frozen ground beef? ›

Ground beef is safe indefinitely if kept frozen, but it is best if used within 4 months. Refrigerate or freeze ground beef as soon as possible after purchase. This preserves freshness and slows the growth of bacteria. It can be refrigerated or frozen in its original packaging if the meat will be used soon.

Why is my hamburger meat GREY in the fridge? ›

However, if the exterior of the meat, or a majority of the package contents, has turned gray or brown, then it's a sign that the meat is beginning to spoil and should be tossed immediately.

Can you eat GREY ground beef? ›

If only the interior is gray, you can bet that oxygen hasn't touched it to turn it red. This means ground beef with a gray interior is safe to eat. On the other hand, meat that looks gray or brown all over (on the inside as well as the top layer) has likely begun to spoil and is not safe to eat.

Can you eat 1 month expired meat? ›

Meat is likely to have a “use or freeze by” or “best if used by” package label, which lists the last date recommended by packagers or grocers for eating at peak quality, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Often, you can still use the meat after that date, though it may not taste as good.

What is the best carrier to ship frozen food? ›

Use appropriate shipping boxes and containers

When shipping frozen food, it's best to use the following packaging to keep foods frozen during transit: Foam insulating food shipping containers such as Styrofoam. Dry ice boxes. Cardboard boxes with insulated box liners to keep temperatures cold.

What is the best shipping for meat? ›

Priority Mail Express is Our Recommendation for Shipping Meat. Even though you can use any USPS service to ship meat, our suggestion is to use USPS Priority Mail Express service.

How can I ship cold food cheaply? ›

Gel packs and dry ice are the best options for keeping your food cool in transit. In general, use dry ice for ice cream and other foods you want to keep frozen, and gel packs to keep food between 32 and 60 degrees F.

How do you transport frozen meat for 12 hours? ›

Wrap it in Aluminium Foil

It insulates the container and prevents it from warming up. Combining the foil with a high-quality cooler ensures that your food remains frozen for days at a time.

How long can frozen food stay in trunk? ›

Two hours is the limit for keeping food safe outside the refrigerator or freezer; one hour if the outside temperature is 90 °F ( 32.2 °C) or above. Frozen food can thaw if it is exposed to the sun's rays even when the temperature is very cold.

Can you lie a fridge freezer down for transport? ›

Good to know

Do NOT transport or lay a fridge or freezer on its back. This will likely damage the parts even if they are not visible.

How do you package meat for transportation? ›

You can use gel packs to cool meat products to a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees. Gel packs are leakproof polypropylene bags filled with a refrigerant. You can cool the gel packs to the desired temperature beforehand. For an optimal cooling result, transport your products in a well-insulating packaging box.

What is the longest way to store meat? ›

The best way to preserve meat for a long time is to put it in a freezer. Before storing it in the freezer, remove the meat from the original package, clean it using a paper towel to remove excess liquid from the chicken surface. Then place it in a dry airtight container/glass container.

How do you store meat for a long time without refrigeration? ›

5 Ways To Store Meat Without Refrigeration
  1. 1 – Drying. Drying (or dehydrating) meat is a practice that's been used for thousands of years, and is still one of the most common ways of keeping meat edible. ...
  2. 2 – Canning. ...
  3. 3 – Curing. ...
  4. 4 – Raw Packing. ...
  5. 5 – Hot Packing.
Apr 26, 2016

What container do you freeze meat in? ›

Zip-top bags are especially good for freezing food because you can more easily get all the air out of them than out of rigid containers. You can use them for everything from blanched spinach to chicken thighs and, after laying them flat to freeze, stack them to economize space.

Does meat get tougher the longer its frozen? ›

Does Freezing Steak Make It Tough? Nope! Freezing steak shouldn't change the texture of steak. The cut of beef has the most bearing on tenderness: tender cuts, like filet, will remain tender, while fattier cuts, like flank, will remain chewier; here's a guide to all the types of steak and how to cook each.

Can meat be frozen for 7 years? ›

Whatever the meat — beef, chicken, pork, or fish — there's no question about it: You can safely store your food the longest in the freezer. That's because you can safely freeze meats indefinitely.

What is the danger zone for frozen meat? ›

Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the "Danger Zone."

Is 2 year old frozen chicken still good? ›

If kept frozen continuously, chicken will be safe indefinitely, so after freezing, it's not important if any package dates expire. For best quality, taste and texture, keep whole raw chicken in the freezer up to one year; parts, 9 months; and giblets or ground chicken, 3 to 4 months.

Is 2 year old frozen hamburger still good? ›

Ground beef is safe indefinitely if kept frozen, but it is best if used within 4 months. Refrigerate or freeze ground beef as soon as possible after purchase. This preserves freshness and slows the growth of bacteria.


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