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Do you know how to store your meat in the refrigerator? Proper storage is vital for maintaining the quality and safety of your meat. Here, we will discuss the correct order of storing different types of meat in the refrigerator and explain why it is important.

Properly storing meat in the refrigerator is crucial for several reasons...


Maintaining Freshness

Storing meat at the correct temperature, 40° Fahrenheit, helps slow down bacterial growth, keeping it fresher for longer.

Preventing Cross-Contamination

Storing meat in the right order helps minimize the risk of cross-contamination, where bacteria from one type of meat can transfer to another.

Ensuring Food Safety

By following proper storage guidelines, you can reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses caused by consuming contaminated meat.

Some foodborne illnesses include but are not limited to 

  • Norovirus
  • Salmonella
  • Clostridium Perfringens 
  • Campylobacter
  • Staphylococcus Aureus

Check out the rest here.

To ensure food safety and maintain freshness, it is recommended to store meat in the refrigerator in the following order:


Beef should be placed on the highest shelf. While the risk of bacterial contamination is lower than in chicken, it’s still important to minimize cross-contamination. Pork can be stored on the shelf below beef. Like beef, pork should be stored above poultry to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. Poultry, including chicken, should always be stored on the bottom shelf in the refrigerator. Since chicken has a higher risk of carrying bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter, this prevents any potential drippings from contaminating other meats. 

In addition to the correct order of storage, here are some essential tips to ensure you're storing your meat properly:


  • Use airtight containers or sealed plastic bags to package your meat before placing it in the refrigerator. This will prevent air exposure and help maintain freshness.
  • Keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 40°F (4°C) to slow down bacterial growth.
  • Store raw meat on a tray or plate to catch any juices that may leak during storage.
  • Regularly clean your refrigerator to maintain a hygienic environment and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Properly storing meat in the refrigerator is crucial for maintaining its quality and ensuring food safety. By following the correct order of storage for beef, pork, and chicken, you can minimize cross-contamination and reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Remember to practice good storage habits and maintain proper refrigerator temperatures to keep your meat fresh and safe to consume.

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