As I perform my ritual in preparing meats in individual portions, for the freezer, month to month, I am often reminded of the commercial for 'Salmonella verses some popular disinfectant advertisement', where is shows a white-gloved woman, armed with a Q-tip, taking samples off the sinks, sink handles, fridge handles, etc where one would touch during the preparation of meals which contained raw meats! She is emphatically confident that she can find tons of dangerous bacteria on kitchens all over the world armed with her trusty Q-tip!
I always laugh and say to myself, "oh yeah, come to my house and take samples"! Could she find that many germs here in my kitchen? I wonder Read on and do tell me, "What do you think "?
Aside from the every day meal preparations which frequently include the handling of raw meat, we, (hubby and myself), also have a tiny 7 lb fur baby, Lil-Lea, to whom we feed raw and home cooking. Since she only eats 4 oz per day, we both have become very adept at creating 2 oz *medallions out of the various raw meats, which we purchase at the super market or at Sam's Club. We then freeze them in individual baggies and put all the baggies in a larger freezer container(s)
Just the same as preparing human food for ourselves, sizing and packaging is the same for a fur baby, and requires just as much caution due to salmonella and other bacteria which various meats carry. I have put together a little something to describe how I handle raw meats, in general, from package to freezer, so the meat has as little contact as possible with anything, other than the package it came in and the package(s) it goes in!
As there are only two of us, we freeze a lot individually, not only because of Lil-Lea, but we also cook for ourselves individually due to schedules and just because that is what we do here as we are always busy doing something and too busy to be interrupted, like NOW, while I am writing this!
First thing I do is put on a pair of latex rubber gloves, to keep meat stuff and germs from under my nails and rings if I have them on. They can really collect germs!
Then, I handle raw meat in the following way:
#01- I clear out one side of my sink, of everything, and I stack the meat packages in there because the sink can be scoured easily later........ (if I use a table, I spread newspaper over the table surface so I can roll it up and toss it after)
#02- I prepare a plastic grocery bag and hang it on something right near me, usually on the handle of the cabinet below the sink... (or if using a table, I put a trash container next to me, lined with a bag ) You'll see why later.
#03- Since I freeze so many meats individually, I buy the inexpensive sandwich size, fold-top baggies at Wal-Mart, ( 300 in a box) to freeze the meats in. It's a tight fit for chicken thighs, but they do fit, if you put the fold of the thigh in first.
NOTE: I use one hand to pick up the meat with and the other to grab the baggie with, so I always have one hand which is free of bacteria !
#04- I Break the seal on the meat package, in the sink, with my *meat hand* and put the meat into a baggie and set aside. Folding comes later both hands are clean.
#05- I repeat this until the packages are all done, or I run out of meat, or counter space, but I try to make sure I have a lot of space for the bags, so I can do it al at once. Then, when that is all done…......
#06- I pull off all the meat papers from the Styrofoam packs and put them in the trash bag which I have hanging. I take off my gloves and wash the empty meat packages, with hot soapy water, and put them in the garbage "outside", so I don't have to worry about any meat smells in my house garbage. NOTE: If you have a lot of freezer space, you can just shove all packages and wrappings etc, into the trash bag, and roll it all up and put entire thing in the freezer until garbage day. I don't have much freezer space, so I wash them. The wrappers and the meat drainage under the meats, roll up real tiny, so they fit in my freezer anywhere. I usually keep them in the bottom drawer until garbage day.
#07- I then fold the baggies tops over the meat I packaged, one by one and stack all of them into a narrow plastic container which I then put in freezer, or in Lil-Lea's case, I put them in a larger freezer bag labeled by type of meat they are and put them in the freezer door.
#08- I then run scalding hot water for a few minutes and scour the inside of sink! I also throw the dish cloth and dish towel, into the laundry as I think it is a good time to change it ALL DONE!
As you can see, nothing else is touched by the meat other than the inside of the sink and my one hand! I do all this about once a month or sometimes every two months.
Because we live in the South, and it is hot most of the year here, there are lots of bugs! BIG BUGS !! I want them to stay Outside! So, in general, with any foods, I keep all meat wrappings, fruit pieces and any food item, which might stink and/or create maggots, in a container (drawer) in the bottom of my freezer until the night before garbage day. Then I dump it all in the garbage.
Last but not least, for those of you who think I wayyyyyy too fanatical, a little funny which happened one day !
My husband, Rick, is usually the one who takes out, and brings in the garbage can from the road way, rather than me. He is not a person who pays great attention to detail, but yet, he always manages to bring the right garbage can back to the house, which puzzles me since all of cans look exactly alike (huge green cans with wheels) and there are no numbers on them, not to mention that there are 5 or 6 of them out there at any given time during garbage days.
I happened to be out on the back porch one day, as he trotted across the street and up the driveway with "our" garbage can.
I asked him, puzzled, "Rick, how do you know which can is ours every week", to which my husband replied,
" C'mon', you have got to be kidding! Ours is always the cleanest one out there, and it's the only one that never smells " ! ROFLOL...
OK ...............so I AM a bit of a germ-a-phobic But, doesn't everyone wash their outside garbage cans and spray them with bleach and Lysol ????