Storage & Handling – US Pork

US Pork

Storage & Handling

Accepting a Shipment of Pork

A close inspection of each shipment of pork will ensure that the quality is good and meets purchase specifications.

Pork will be acceptable if the cuts are low in fat on the outside and have firm, pinkish-gray meat.

Pork will be unacceptable if the color is different, has a slimy, sticky, or dry texture, and if it arrives in torn cartons, has dirty wrappers or torn packaging.

Keep it Cold

  • Place meat in a cooler or freezer immediately upon delivery.
  • For best quality and shelf life, store fresh pork at 40°F.
  • Store frozen pork at or below 0°F.
  • When the package is opened, storage life is about 3 to 5 days.
  • Keep pork below ready-to-eat foods in refrigerated storage. This will prevent the raw product from dripping onto prepared foods and contaminating them.
  • For pork that is properly frozen, storage life can range anywhere from 4 months at 0°F to 6 months at -5°F.
  • Defrosting Pork:
 Defrost foods in a cooler…never at room temperature. Do not thaw meat at room temperature, on a counter top or in warm water.

Keep it Clean

Meat is basically sterile until it comes in contact with knives, grinders and other equipment. Therefore, anything pork comes into contact with should be kept clean and sanitized.

TO CLEAN involves physically removing particles and food matter from the surface of grinders, knives, cutting boards, slicers or other equipment used to prepare meat. Soil should be loosened and rinsed away using a cleaning agent under sufficient pressure (such as from a brush, scrubbing pad or water spray).

TO SANITIZE is to reduce the amount of micro-organisms, such as bacteria, to safe levels; sanitizing is one step beyond cleaning, and in the case of food-contact surfaces (grinders, knives, slicers, cutting boards, etc.), is a necessary step. Items to be sanitized must always be cleaned first.

There are two ways to sanitize: immersing the object in 171°F water for 30 seconds, which is hot enough to kill bacteria; or treat with a chemical sanitizing compound.

Chemical sanitizers are widely accepted in the foodservice industry. Wash hands thoroughly, immediately before and after handling raw meat. Keep thermometers clean and sanitized.
Keep storage areas and counter surfaces clean and sanitized.

Main Pork Cuts

Always choose the right US pork cut.