The Dos and Don'ts of Shopping for Meat at the Supermarket

Follow these tips to be sure you're taking home a choice piece of meat.
Related To:
stk325161rkn

stk325161rkn

delicatessen kept on shelves in a supermarket

Photo by: Ciaran Griffin ©(c) Ciaran Griffin

Ciaran Griffin, (c) Ciaran Griffin

delicatessen kept on shelves in a supermarket

DO get to know your butcher.

Not only are you more likely to learn what's fresh or a great deal, you might score a butcher willing to go the extra mile by freshly grinding a large cut of meat (ground meat dries out quickly because there's more surface area) or portion a roast on sale into individual steaks.

DO make the meat counter the last stop.

Don't let these highly perishables sit around in a shopping cart when strolling through the aisles. The more time meat spends at room temperature, the more likely unsafe bacterial growth can occur.

DO skip a package that isn't cold to the touch.

All raw meat products need to be held in cool enough temperatures to ward off any safety concerns. If it's not cold, it's not worth the risk.

DON'T select a package containing excessive juices.

Pools of pink- or red-tinged juices sealed in a package may be a sign of improper or prolonged storage.

DO place raw meat packages in plastic produce bags. 

This will prevent any leaky juices from contaminating other foods and products in your cart.

DO check the date on the package. 

If the sell-by date is quickly approaching, be prepared to freeze the meat or eat it right away. And check the packages of meat that are stacked underneath and out of reach — most supermarkets stack items with earlier sell-by dates on top and toward the front, where they're more likely to be picked up first.

Keep Reading

Next Up

7 Habits of Smart Supermarket Shoppers

Practice these good habits to spend less time and money at the store.

5 Ways You're Being Set Up by Your Supermarket

These sneaky tactics help supermarkets have consumers do their bidding.

Your Chocolate Questions, Answered

Food Network stars answer your chocolate questions.

50 Things to Make with Bacon

Make bacon the star ingredient in pastas, salads, snacks and more from Food Network Magazine.

How to Sanitize a Kitchen Sponge

Your kitchen sponge has a dirty secret: It may be one of the filthiest spots in your home. Here are two ways to clean it.

How to Clean Any Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop Appliance

Follow these easy steps for cleaning stainless steel kitchen appliances that sparkle like new.

The Basics of Freezing Food

Follow these tips to make your food storage more freezer-friendly.

5 Things To Know About Your Refrigerator

Foods like raw meat and dairy are only as good as the environment in which they're stored. A refrigerator in tip-top condition provides prime storage conditions for your perishables and stops odors and bacteria from flourishing.

At Your Disposal: How to Use Up Kitchen Waste

Chefs tell Food Network Magazine how they use perfectly good ingredients that the rest of us throw away.

How Long Food Lasts in Your Pantry

Consider this your essential guide to knowing what stays and what goes next time you clean out the pantry.

Get Cooking