With the holiday weekend approaching, grills will be heated up for outdoor grilling. Did you know that hamburger is the most popular food for the grill, followed by steak and chicken? One out of every five times a backyard grill in America is fired up, it's to cook a burger.
While hamburgers reign supreme, grillers need to be careful. Ground beef is highly perishable because of the greater surface exposed to air. This permits drying out, loss of flavor and increased bacterial growth in the meat.
Be sure to use ground meat within one or two days after purchase, unless stored in the freezer. Frozen ground beef will keep much longer if it is stored in moisture-proof and vapor-proof packages at 0 degrees.
Other tips to safely handle ground beef include:
— Put ground beef in the refrigerator immediately after you return from the store, and use or freeze it within one or two days. Refrigerate cooked meat and use it within four days. Uncooked, frozen meat needs to be used within four months.