Due to the seasonal nature of our production system some meat you purchase will be frozen. The produce is packaged so that there is as little contact with oxygen as possible to discourage what is known as freezer burn and frosting.
When you purchase the frozen produce it is recommended that you transport the meat home in an insulated bag or esky to ensure the product remains frozen. It is important to handle and store the meat correctly so that eating quality is maximised and health risks are minimised.
Once you have arrived home, transfer meat to the freezer immediately. The produce should be kept frozen until ready for use. Frozen product will not become unsafe if it is maintained in a frozen state. However, over a period of time it will gradually lose palatability as the fats oxidise. Bulk cuts of meat tend to store better than processed meats like mince and sausages due to reduced oxygen exposure to the meat. In practice 6 -12 months is an appropriate storage time for beef or pork.
Defrosting the Meat
The eating quality of the meat will also be impacted by how it is defrosted. The recommended method of defrosting meat is to slowly let it defrost in the fridge over a period of 24 hours. Once defrosted the meat should be cooked within a couple of days and should not be refrozen once thawed unless it has first been cooked.