[Market-farming] Frozen meat maximum holding time

Rick Williams mrfarm at frontiernet.net
Fri Jan 31 18:53:52 EST 2003

Rick H. wrote:
> Freezer wrap is good for about 3 months, vacuum sealed for 6 months from a
> rules standpoint.  We will see use by date legislation coming in the near
> future that will assure that producers are being honest with their meat
> products.

We have no choice here as all meat that is state inspected automatically has
the month stamped on it.

We knew that meat, especially the longer keeping meat, such as beef, can be
kept typically for a year under below zero conditions with a double wrapped
product, but I was thinking more about how the customer would view it and
what makes sense from a marketing standpoint. In order for us to have high
CLA beef to sell, we need to process as much as we can in Oct/Nov/Dec
depending upon when the hay takes over for the grass. If we could only keep
it for 90 days, that would be very limiting.

But I admit that when we start approaching 120 days, I get concerned. I am
mostly worried that a buyer may then want to keep it for a long time in
their freezer and it may not be below zero.

> We have had some lamb and beef both get in the bottom of our freezer that
> was two years old and it was fine, but I would not want to take a
> chance on
> getting caught selling it.

Do you have a law and penalty for selling something like that?

Having a certain amount of sales, such as 20 head a year, would really help
a lot in terms of moving product. Having surplus of one product can be more
easily handled by changing what gets processed on the next animal. Although
there are limits, especially with the steaks.


Rick Williams

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