What to Watch for When You’re Purchasing Meat

July 9, 2020 9:26 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Want to make sure you’re coming home with fresh, high-quality, delicious meat from the grocery store or meat market? It’s important to examine the meat and its packaging before you place it in your cart or basket. With this in mind, here’s a quick overview of how to buy meat in Williamsport, PA:

  • Label information: All meat, when properly packaged, should include the kind of meat, the wholesale cut and the name of the cut. It will also include information like price per pound, total price, weight, sell-by date and instructions for safe handling. The most important thing is to make sure you purchase meat before its sell-by date—otherwise, you run the risk of foodborne illness. There are some packages that could include preparation info, nutritional facts and country of origin.
  • Stamps: There are certain stamps you might find on meat packaging. The USDA will place an inspection stamp on meat that comes from animals deemed fit for human consumption—every package of meat or poultry you see in a store should have this inspection stamp. Grading marks may also be included, indicating the quality of the meat.
  • Sensory analysis: You should always perform a careful inspection of the actual meat, using your senses of sight, smell and touch. The meat should be firm to the touch, and there should be no holes or tears in the packaging. An unusually large amount of liquid in the packaging should also be a red flag. The package should be cold to the touch—never go home with warm meat. There should not be any unusual smells.
  • Beef: When purchasing beef, it should be a bright red color, although if it’s in a sealed bag the color may be a darker red with a purple tinge. If you see beef with a gray or brown tinge, you should not purchase it. Packaging for beef will include the percentages of lean and fat.
  • Pork: When purchasing pork, look for cuts of meat that are pinkish-red in color with white fat. If you see dark spots or meat that is a pale color, you should avoid purchasing it.
  • Poultry: Whenever purchasing chicken or turkey, make sure it looks pink rather than gray. If you see any purple or green discoloration around the neck, or wing tips that have dark discoloration, you should avoid the meat. Red wing tips are not a problem.
  • Lamb: Any lamb you purchase from the store should be a softer pink or red color, with white fat or marbling. Gray meat or meat with spots should be avoided.
  • Specials: There may occasionally be special pricing included on the packaging, often when the sell-by date is approaching. You can still purchase meat that is very close to its sell-by date so long as you cook it quickly.

For more tips on how to buy meat in Williamsport, PA and what you should look for in the meat you choose, we encourage you to contact the team at Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats today.

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