What is Fresh / Shelf Life of Poultry ?

How do you understand the word fresh? Fresh means (1)new or recently made, produced or harvested. It can also mean =  (2) not canned or preserved.

The word fresh is used as marketing tool by some entrepreneur. Especially for poultry, fruits, vegetables and meat. We always want fresh picks because their are new, clean, no sign of spoilage & off-odors and we think that they are newly harvested or slaughtered.

Does the word fresh really mean new or recent?

In poultry, fresh are those that are not held at temperature below 26 °Fahrenheit (-3.33 °C). The meat is still soft to touch, not frozen. If the bird meat is stored below the indicated temperature, most of the free water will change to ice. Frozen commodities  are not considered fresh because it undergoes the process of preservation.

According  to National Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Criteria for Foods and other scientific organizations, storage up to  40 °Fahrenheit (-3.33 °C) have no increased microbiological risk.

Fresh poultry can be stored at 40°F (4.44 °C) for 1 to 2 days only. Frozen poultry are safe indefinitely but must be used within 1 year for best quality, poultry parts within 9 months, and giblets within 4 months. Frozen poultry are stored at 0°F (-17.78°C).

At temperature of 26 °Fahrenheit (-3.33 °C), the data on how long it should be stored is not available. So fresh poultry means  (2) not canned or preserved. Other quality features should be inspected carefully by consumers before buying.


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