If you are a cooking enthusiast, chances are you buy raw meat regularly. However, it is crucial to recognise that not all raw meat is of the same quality, and there are a few things you have to look out for before parting with your cash. Here are some pointers to make sure you get the best quality meat:
- Check the Source and Quality
When it comes to raw meat, it is extremely important to know where it’s coming from and how good the quality is. Firstly, ensure that you purchase raw meat from reputable suppliers or stores known for their high-quality products. Keep an eye out for fresh, well-packaged, and correctly labelled meat to make sure it’s up to health standards. And always be on the lookout for any signs of spoilage, particularly a funky smell, as this means the meat isn’t fresh anymore.
- Appearance and Colour
Another crucial factor when buying raw meat is checking out how it looks. High-quality raw meat should exhibit a bright red or pinkish colour with visible white marbling. If you see any weird colouring, like brown or greyish hues, that could be a sign of low-quality meat or bad storage. A lack of marbling or too much fat can also be a red flag.
The feel and texture of the raw meat is also super important when making your purchase. The texture should be firm when you touch it, not too squishy—this can signal poor quality meat or poor storage conditions. Be sure the meat isn’t slimy or damp either, as that could mean it’s starting to spoil. The texture can also help you figure out how tender the meat will be, so keep this in mind when deciding what to buy.
- Marbling and Fat
One major thing you should keep in mind when you are buying raw meat is the marbling and fat content. “Marbling” refers to those thin white streaks of fat you see within the meat’s muscle fibres. Marbling contributes to the tenderness and flavour of the meat, so opt for cuts that have a desirable amount of marbling. However, watch out for too much fat or greasy-looking meat, as that could mean it’s poor quality, or from an unhealthy animal.
- Expiry Date and Packaging
When you are buying raw meat, always pay attention to the expiration date and packaging to make sure it’s fresh and high-quality. Check the package for the ‘sell by’ or ‘use by’ dates to ensure freshness. Also, check the packaging; it should be in great shape with no tears or holes that might let bacteria in. And remember, good quality packaging helps prevent that nasty freezer burn.
- Handling and Storage
When it comes down to handling and storing your raw meat, temperature control is crucial. Store your meat in the refrigerator between 2-4°C to prevent bacterial growth. And don’t leave it out at room temp for more than a couple of hours. When taking your meat home from the store, keep it away from other foods and use a cooler with ice packs to keep it cool. Plus, always practise safe handling – wash your hands and any surfaces that raw meat touches.
- Food Safety Labels
When considering food safety, it’s super important to check out the labels and certifications. Pay attention to labels such as ‘Certified Organic’ or ‘Raised without Antibiotics.’ These labels give you info about where the meat comes from, how it was raised or processed, and any additives that might’ve been used. By choosing meat with these certifications, you can be sure that your purchase lines up with what you believe in and the quality you want.
If you prefer the convenience of shopping for meat online, don’t forget to look at our product section for loads of high-quality choices. Just as when you’re shopping in a store, pay attention to how the meat looks, its texture, and the packaging so you know it’s fresh and good quality. Also, make sure to read the product descriptions closely for details on where it came from, how it was processed, and any certifications or labels. With these tips in hand, you can be confident when buying raw meat online.