HELPFUL
COOKING
TIP:
Keep perishable foods (especially raw meat) separated from other foods, especially during food preparation, to avoid cross contamination.
SAFE HANDLING

When preparing meals for your family, the way you handle the food directly affects those who eat it. Whether you're thawing, cooking, or storing leftovers, there are many risk factors that can be eliminated with proper handling. Below is a list of numerous safety measures you can take to ensure your beef is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Handling Instructions:
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling meat products.
  • Keep perishable foods (especially raw meat) separated from other foods, especially during food preparation, to avoid cross contamination.
  • After cutting raw meat, you must wash all cutting utensils in warm, soapy water before cutting other foods.
  • Shop for or handle meats so they are in the temperature danger zone (40° F to 160° F) for the shortest period of time.
Storing Instructions:
  • Refrigerate meat as soon as possible. It should be kept at room temperature for no more than two hours.
  • For the best results, maintain a refrigerator temperature of 40° F or less, and a freezer temperature of 32° F or less.
Thawing Instructions:
  • Thaw meats in the refrigerator. This not only protects the meat, it also preserves the quality and nutrients.
  • Cook thawed meat within 48 hours of thawing.
  • If you thaw meat and decide not to eat it, cook it and freeze it. Never refreeze thawed, raw meat.
Before you cook:
  • Use clean utensils for each food you prepare.
  • Use hot, soapy water to clean all cutting boards, utensils and cooking surfaces - hot water alone does not work.
  • Marinate meats in the refrigerator only.
  • If you plan to baste with marinade, separate the basting portion before submersing the meat in the marinade.
  • Prepare raw hamburger quickly and refrigerate or cook as soon as possible to limit exposure to room temperature.
  • Roast meat at a temperature of at least 250° F (121° C).
  • When cooking, never put cooked meat on an unwashed plate or the plate on which you carried the raw meat.
Before you barbecue:
  • Thoroughly clean your grill and preheat the grilling surface to a high temperature to destroy any bacteria.
Leftovers:
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours in small, covered, shallow containers or zipper type plastic bags.
  • Leftover meat should be eaten within 4 days and reheated to at least 160° F (71° C).
  • If leftovers are uneaten after being reheated, discard them.