Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to properly store our products.

For the most part this goes without saying, but there are a few things that need clarifying. Meats can be defrosted IN THE REFRIGERATOR and refrozen safely as long as the temperature stays below 40 degrees. If you thaw it any other way DO NOT RE FREEZE!
Eggs should be refrigerated in my opinion. Washing is optional until just prior to use. Our eggs may be fertile as the rooster is in with his hens all of the time. Eggs should be collected daily and put in the fridge. Some people will not agree but that is ok. I don't want my members getting a bad egg or cracking in to a partially formed embryo. You can actually tell how fresh your eggs are without even cracking them! Take a cup of water and put your egg into it. If it lies on the bottom of the cup it is fresh, if it stands up a bit but does not float it's a week or two old. If it floats, its too old to use, throw it out! always crack your eggs individually into a small bowl just to be safe. State law mandates that all eggs sold must be refrigerated. If this is done your eggs will be good for up to 6 weeks.
Cured meats should be kept COLD! especially Nitrate and Nitrite free meats. They do not have the preservatives in them that conventionally cured meats do and will go "off" much more quickly. Even air cured hams and Tessa should be kept refrigerated until use. I recommend dividing cured meats into portion sizes and freezing what you are not going to use in a relatively short period of time. With all of the different dietary lifestyle choices out there I feel it is best to err on the side of caution. I follow a Primal/ Paleo lifestyle and as meats and eggs are a large percentage of my diet, I want them as safe as I can get them without additives. And that good old invention the Refrigerator Freezer is one modern convenience that keeps my food Safe! I have people ask all the time if they can get their meats "fresh" or unfrozen. EVERY  single piece of meat aside from poultry, that is processed further than killing it and cooking it immediately has been frozen at some point. Lambs and hogs are frozen immediately after slaughter to preserve quality, partially thawed for cutting and re-frozen. Beef is held Just above actual freezing temperatures during the aging process, then cut and Frozen. Anyone that tells you that the meats you buy have never been frozen are WRONG. The freezing METHOD is what dictates quality. Flash freezing prevents the formation of ice crystals in the tissues and preserves the quality, freezing in your home freezer allows ice to form in the tissues and degrades the quality of the meat. If you are going to freeze it after you get home, pick it up frozen if you can. You will have a better product that will last in the home freezer not an ice encrusted freezer burned mess! hope this helps!

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