DENVER — With more time at home, consumers can confidently reach for beef as a reliable staple to nourish themselves and their families.
Beef is not only a source of protein, but it also provides bodies with the strength to thrive throughout all stages of life.
To ensure consumers are armed with knowledge to have the best eating experiencing with beef, the Beef Checkoff is here to provide some quick tips on how to safely handle and prepare beef when cooking at home.
Refrigerate or freeze beef as soon as possible after purchasing. Ground beef can safely be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days before cooking or freezing.
Once in the freezer, ground beef can be stored for three to four months before quality is impacted. Steaks and roasts can safely be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days before cooking or freezing. Once in the freezer, steaks and roasts can be stored for four to 12 months before quality is impacted.
If you plan on freezing, repackage your beef into the right-size portion for upcoming meals. For longer storage, remove beef from original packaging and place into freezer bags or similar air-tight packaging to remove as much air as possible.
Defrost beef in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Account for 12 to 24 hours to defrost ground beef and steaks. Use a plate or tray to catch any juices.
Wash hands well in hot, soapy water before and after handling raw meat and other fresh foods. Keep raw meat and juices away from other foods. Wash all utensils, cutting surfaces and counters after contact with raw meat.
Always use a meat thermometer. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Steaks and roasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F.
Don’t forget to refrigerate leftovers within two hours after cooking.
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