Safe Ways to Store Meat and Fish
When to rewrap
Meat and poultry that are stored in a fridge need to have air circulating around them to keep them fresh. Remove the original wrapping and place the food on a plate, covered loosely with a piece of foil or a large glass bowl.
Meat and poultry for the freezer, on the other hand, need airtight packaging. Rewrap red meat in tightly sealed foil packages or in freezer bags. Poultry just needs an extra layer of wrapping on top of the original in case there’s a puncture that could cause freezer burn.
Avoid the ‘what can it be?’ problem
When rewrapping meat for the freezer, remove the label from the original packaging and tape it to the new wrapper so that you’ll have a record of the contents, the weight and the date it was frozen.
Don’t throw bones and scraps away: boil them up into a concentrated stock, allow it to cool and then freeze in ice-cube trays. Add straight to stews and sauces; there’s no need to defrost first. A good stock can also be turned into soup with very little effort.
Protecting freezer wrappings
Pad any sharp, protruding bones with a double layer of foil or kitchen paper before wrapping meat for the freezer. You’ll be less likely to puncture the wrapping.
All stuck together?
Burger patties, chops and slices of meat will separate easily if you interleave them with a double layer of non-stick paper when preparing them for the freezer.
Meatballs freezing out of shape?
Freeze meatballs first on an open baking tray. When they are firm you can transfer them to a freezer bag and store them without fear of squashing.
Fish in the fridge
It’s safest to keep fish on the bottom shelf and well wrapped up to reduce the chance of a spill affecting other food. Fish is best bought and used on the same day, but if that’s impossible it will last for 24 hours in the fridge.
Freezing fish at home
To freeze fish safely, use only fish that you know is fresh out of the water, and don’t risk refreezing a fish that may have been frozen and thawed before sale. Ask your fishmonger if in doubt.
1. To freeze a whole fish, lay it, uncovered, on a dish or tray in the freezer. When the fish is frozen solid, take it out and dip it briefly into cold water, which will form a thin layer of ice over the fish.
2. Return the fish to the freezer, and repeat the process until the ice is about 5mm (1/4in) thick. Then wrap, seal and store in the freezer.