Tips on Handling and Storing Pork Properly

by Fish n Chix

Tips on Handling and Storing Pork Properly | Fish N Chx

Are you still unsure about how to properly handle and store that pork tenderloin or ground pork you bought? Whatever perfect cuts of meat you buy, when handled improperly, you could be at risk of trichinosis and other foodborne diseases.

Read on to learn more about the the proper way of handling and storing pork.

Handling Pork

Once you're ready to prepare your fresh pork and ground meats, you should first understand the proper way of handling them. Proper handling doesn't only mean that you should be gentle with it. From the moment you buy it up to the moment you serve it to your loved ones, there are major factors you should remember.

Cleanliness

To be certain the meat you're handling is clean, you have to clean it yourself as well. Wash your hands with water and soap.

Next, if you're planning to sort your cuts of pork into meal-size packages before storing them, check if your kitchen surface is clean. It's also important to use separate cutting boards and utensils from other food items and always clean them in hot and soapy water to prevent cross-contamination.

Cooking

When cooking your favorite hot food, it's important to know the safe cooking temperatures.

Basic rule: Whether you’re cooking ground pork patties or frozen pork roasts, bring the internal temperature up to 70°C, along with a 3-minute rest time.

The approximate cooking times for different types of raw meat vary depending on the heat source. Having a meat thermometer is helpful to ensure that the proper temperature is reached for safe consumption. Always avoid eating undercooked pork and wash your hands with water when handling cooked meat.

Storing Pork

Understanding the proper storage temperature for pork is important to keep your raw meats fresh. Have a dedicated spot in your fridge for storage. Also remember to place your meat in clean storage containers, plastic wrap, or freezer wrap materials. Here's a range of temperatures to remember for proper storing of pork.

One Quick Tip: When buying raw pork at Fish n' Chix or other suppliers, make sure you place them immediately in your refrigerator or freezer once they're home to prevent loss of quality.

Refrigeration

Keep your raw pork refrigerated to a safe temperature of about 4°C or lower to maintain freshness. Fresh meat only lasts a few days after purchase. To help you remember the storage life of raw meat through refrigeration, see below.

Cuts of Pork

Safe Storage Times

Ground pork

1-2 days

Raw sausage

1-2 days

Liver, tongue, and other variety meat

1-2 days

Deli meats

3-5 days

Pork chops, roasts, steaks, ribs

3-5 days

Cooked sausage, bacon

7 days

Freezing

Frozen raw pork can last indefinitely, but to keep the pork fresh, the following safe storage times can be used. Make sure the temperature reaches -17°C or lower.

Cuts of Pork

Safe Storage Times

Cooked sausage, bacon

1-2 months

Raw sausage, deli meats

1-2 months

Ground pork

3-4 months

Liver, tongue, and other variety meat

3-4 months

Pork chops, roasts, steaks, ribs

4-6 months

Thawing

First of all, don't rush the thawing process by placing your frozen pork in hot or warm water as this brings your raw meat's temperature where harmful bacteria may grow.

For safe thawing of frozen pork, there are 3 ways.

  • Refrigerator thawing: Keep your frozen food in your fridge for 24 hours or more. This helps your frozen food move its temperature slowly and safely. However, refrigerator thawing will require you to plan ahead.
  • Cold water method: For faster thawing, place frozen meat inside an airtight shallow container or leak-proof package and soak it under cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes for continuous thawing. Cold water thawing might take up to 5 hours.
  • Microwave thawing: Thaw your frozen or partially frozen pork in your microwave oven for about 2 to 10 minutes. Your hands must be clean when handling it after thawing since microwave thawing brings up the temperature where harmful bacteria thrive. 

Key Advantages to Proper Handling and Storing of Pork

When handling and storing pork are done properly, you're assured that what you're consuming is healthy. You also ensure the raw foods you're eating are delicious and are properly cooked through your personal preference of cooking methods. Feel free to use your slow cookers or hot grill!

One last advantage of knowing the proper way of handling and storing pork is that it not only helps ensure your safety but also helps you save valuable money by minimizing waste.

You may also want to check out other amazing tips from Fish n' Chix to help you take more control of your kitchen.