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A Butchers advice for keeping food safe in summer

As a butcher I am constantly working around fridges and aware of the dangers of letting meat get too warm, especially chicken & pork products. I am always making my butchery staff aware of managing the amount of meat they have to work with at any one time. Keeping things cool so the product will not deteriorate is a second nature to me. At home, I am just the same when it comes to meat, nevertheless, I can understand why some people would forget what butchers take for granted; and that is the temperature of your fridge and the temperature of the meat you buy.

Before the spawn of central heating, those that can remember would have particularly noticed the fridge freezing up with the approach of winter and the milk going off during the onset of summer. We would then automatically turn our fridges up or down; however,today with many of us having longer lasting products such as milk, we tend to leave our fridges on the winter settings all year round. One could argue that in the summer the central heating is not turned on so it would balance out! This is not the case and you should always turn your fridge up in the summer (say number 4-5) and down in the winter (3-4); you should always base any meats at the bottom shelves of the fridge. Butchers fridges are industrial yet we still have to call in the engineer as summer creeps in.

You have to remember that every time you open the fridge door warm air rushes in and it takes on average 2 hours to re-adjust to the right temperature; So plan your fridge trips more carefully.

After your shopping trip to the butcher, another good tip is to place your meats in the freezer for about an hour, before putting it in the fridge, as this will help the meat chill down and extend the life of the product. Much of my advice may be common sense but we all live busy lives and forget the simple things. So please take my advice and avoid waste and those nasty tummy bugs.

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