As your trusted meat cutter, we get a tonne of questions regarding meat safety and preparation! If you have any additional questions you would like answered, stop by and say hello!
For information about how to get the juiciest steak, check out our Grilling Tips page!
What colour should my ground beef be?
This is not a simple question to answer!
The reason meat looks red is due to the protein MYOGLOBIN. Myoglobin is fixed within the tissue cells and is actually more purple than red, however, when it is mixed with oxygen, it becomes OXYMYGLOBIN, help to producea bright red colour. Hemoglobin (essentially iron) is also responsible for contributing to the rich red colours found in meat.
There are a variety of factors that can influence colours displayed in the meat section: age of the animal, the exact species, sex, diet and the amount of exercise the animal receive are all common factors. For instance, meat from older animals will generally be darker in colour due to the increase in myoglobin levels. Since exercise also increases myoglobin, a healthy, pasture-raised animal will also have darker meat (however it is important to consider that some muscles are used less, such as the keel from poultry, which will always be lighter in colour than the wing or leg!).
Colour changes are normal for fresh meat and poultry, and will change over time based on how it is stored. Colour changes on their own do not mean a product is spoiled. Freezer burn does not impact the safety of meat, however it will impact the taste. Packaged meat will regularly be differently coloured inside than it is outside; this will not impact the safety or the quality of the meat.
Can I re-freeze thawed meat that has been previously frozen?
It depends on how your meat has been defrosted in the first place!
It is never safe to defrost your meat on the counter, as this can encourage bacterial growth at an exponential rate! You should always thaw your meat in a fridge running at 5 degrees Celcius (or less!). Thawing meat in this way will allow you to re-freeze, if necessary.
You will want to consider that re-freezing meat will definitely impact the quality (however, not safety) of the product: as cells break down in the meat, the food can become more watery.
Should I be washing my chicken/turkey/steak before I cook it?
There is absolutely NO beneficial reason to wash your meat before cooking it.
Yes, raw meat products carry bacteria on their surfaces – however, when you wash raw meat products, water splashes off the meat and “aerosolizes” (turn into a fine spray) the bacteria – in turn, this bacteria is landing on you, your kitchen sink, your walls, and whatever else you have around the area! It is easier, and safer, to simply move the raw meat from its package and immediately begin cooking. The heat from cooking will kill any bacteria that are present, and will do this in a way more effective way that water ever could!
Ensure to WASH anything that raw meat comes in contact with – including your hands, plates, knifes and cutting boards. Do not use the same cutting board for cutting raw or undercooked meats that you use for cutting vegetables.
What is the safest and best way to store meat?
In order to preserve freshness, we recommend that you freeze any meat you purchase within 24 hours, unless you plan on consuming it immediately! The freezer helps to preserve meat by preventing the growth of microorganisms, which require water to grow, and also helps to slow down enzyme activity that is responsible for food spoilage.
- Raw ground meats, all poultry and seafood can be refrigerated safely between 24-48 hours
- Raw roasts, steaks and chops (including beef, veal, lamp and pork) can be refrigerated safely between 3 and 5 days
- Cooked meat, poultry and seafood can be refrigerated safely between 3 to 4 days
It is best to date all products, when refrigerating or freezing them, before they get lost in the back! This way, you will need to question the safety of a product before serving it to your family. Many meat products, if properly packaged and stored, can last in the freezer for up to one year.
- Cooked poultry is best left in the freezer for less than 4 months
- Uncooked poultry parts are best left in the freezer for no more than 9 months
- Uncooked whole poultry is best left in the freezer for no more than 12 months
- Cooked meat products are best left in the freezer for no more than 3 months
- Uncooked roasts, steaks or chops of any type are highly dependent on storage, and would ideally be used between 4 and (absolutely no later than) 12 months
- Uncooked ground meat should be used within 4 months
Meat should be protected from air before placing it in the freezer. The best way to do is, is to press the wrapping directly up against the meat product; ideally, you will wrap the product in plastic wrap or freezer paper before then wrapping it in aluminum foil or a freezer bag. Remember to label and ate the product!
Remember to check the temperature of your fridge and freezer regularly; your freezer should be ideally kept 18 degrees Celsius (any colder and your food will experience freezer burn more quickly).
Safe Internal Cooking Temperatures Chart (Imbed directly from the source or just duplicate it in Excel).
Are your products safe for dogs?
There is a growing interest in serving pets raw-food diets. While we do not specialize in raw-food diets for pets, we do sell human-grade consumption quality meats. This will generally exceed whatever is available in kibble form!
Do you deliver?
At this time, we do not offer deliver. However, you can order online/by telephone, and we will ensure to have your product packaged and ready for pick-up to your specifications!
What does organic meat mean?
You have heard it all: organic, natural, free-range – there is a whole slew of terms out there to confuse consumers.
In Canada, organic food products are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Producers of these products must be prepared to demonstrate that organic claims are truthful and not misleading, and that very specific requirements have been met. Essentially, in order to pass regulation, an organic product does not:
- Have synthetic pesticides
- Have synthetic fertilizers
- Does not permit the use of sewage sludge
- Does not permit the use of genetically modified organisms
- Does not permit the use of ionizing radiation
- Contain growth hormones for animals that product meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products
Organic products are meant to provide livestock with human living conditions for their health and well-being.
What does the rest of it mean? Essentially, these terms have little value as they are not regulated.
If you would like to learn more about how Canada regulates Organic Food, please consult the CFIA website.
What are the different types/cuts of meat? How do I know what I want?!