Is freezing meat the way forward?

One of the biggest problems we face in the modern world is the amount of food we waste.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme estimates that "around 10 million tonnes of food waste is generated every year in the UK, post- farm gate, 70% of which was intended to be consumed by people. This has a value of over £20 billion and is associated with more than 25 million tonnes of GHG emissions."

When it comes to meat, the main causes for waste are people buying more fresh meat than they decide to use, and not knowing how or wanting to freeze their excess. 

So what are the rules when it comes to freezing meat? Meat is sold at our store both fresh and frozen, but how will ling will it last? What is the correct way for freezing and thawing meat?

When meat is frozen, you are slowing dow the yeast and bacteria meaning the nutritional content doesn't really change. By thawing the meat correctly you keep the fibres in tact and stop any natural flavour from escaping.

To stop wasting any meat, they should be vacuum sealed or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or bags making sure there is no air inside the packaging. Doing this will prevent what we call 'freezer burn' where the meat can be discoloured and end up being dry. However if this happens, you can cut away any discoloured pieces once it has thawed out and it will still be safe to cook. Remember, our quality cuts of meat all come vacuum sealed to ensure they are in perfect quality.

The best way to thaw the frozen meat is to place it in the fridge for 24-48 hours before you intend to cook it. Never thaw meat at room temperature as large pieces of meat will take a long time to thaw meaning the outside of the meat is exposed to a warmer temperature for a long time whilst the inside is still frozen.

Is it safe to refreeze meat?

Although many people avoid refreezing meat, man studies have shown that it can be perfectly safe to do so as long at certain conditions are followed. As long as you thaw the meat slowly inside a fridge it is safe to refreeze if you decide not to use it anymore. Even meat that has been previously frozen can be refrozen once thawed out.

Experts do advise that any meat that has been left outside of the fridge for over two hours (or one hour if you're lucky enough to live in a place where your room temperature is more than 32 degrees celsius ) should not be refrozen for safety reasons. 

Meat frozen in the correct conditions can be stored for 4-5 months and still be at it's best quality, but you can freeze it for a lot longer than that.

So rest assured that buying meat frozen is as nutritional as fresh meat, and you are doing your bit to help with the environment. 

- The Woolly Pig Team.