Health Precautions to Observe When Transporting and Handling Beef

Different types of bacteria can grow on animal products. It is essential to handle and store beef safely. Different rules for handling various kinds of meat can seem to be confusing. Safety issues are associated with everything we eat, and a healthy kitchen depends on one’s knowledge to safely cook and store products.

The need to transport food animals occurs mainly due to commercial purposes. Animals and their products need to be moved for reasons including re-stocking, slaughtering, marketing, search for better grazing or change of ownership. In many cases, the majority of livestock products are transported by trekking them on the hoof by road and rail.


Selecting Meat

When buying meat, pay keen attention to the expiry date to avoid buying one whose date has expired. Also during the buying process, avoid any beef or pork that is dark brown or discolored, or one with a strong odor. When shopping for poultry, avoid one that looks faded, feels tough or slimy. Avoid faded or discolored fish and look for fresh ones. You should also avoid meat that is in damaged or torn packages has it has likely been exposed to air and harmful bacteria.


Handling Beef

When handling beef, wash your hands frequently. Bacteria can quickly spread through meat and your hands. Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling meat whether raw or cooked. Because bacteria from meat can spread very fast, ensure that meat is prepared on a surface that is separate from other cooking materials. If possible, use separate cutting boards and clean all cooking utensils after they come in contact with raw meat.


Storing Meat

Uncured and raw meat will safely last for around three days in a refrigerator. If you plan to keep any uncooked meat in the fridge for a long time, ensure that you freeze it for best results. Before freezing meat, seal it in an airtight package, as this helps it stay frozen for several months. Safe freezing and refrigeration will depend on your storage temperature.  At all times, keep your freezer closer to 0°F (-17.8°C) as possible as this helps in retaining nutrients and keeping food fresh.


Cooking Temperature

The cooking temperature will affect both the safety and taste of food. You should cook all meat and related products to the recommended temperature to reduce any harmful bacteria and other infections that may likely be in the product. Use a thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry are cooked to the recommended temperature. When grilling meat and poultry products, use different and separate plates to transport cooked or products. Cooking frozen meat in the oven or stove would be safe.



Store all leftover products in a shallow and cover them in a container then refrigerate. Chilling is good for prevention of bacteria from growing. To speed up the chilling process, you need to divide large chunks and spread food in a shallow container. Do not pack your meat products tightly into the refrigerator or freezer. Proper circulation of air in the food helps it to stay fresh. When you are in doubt, always throw leftover food away. Food and other leftovers of meat can be safely stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, while frozen one can go up to four months.

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