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Things to consider before buying fresh meat

Meat is one of the most widely used natural foods consumed by the masses.

It is not only a great source of proteins for the humans but the variant products which are being prepared from it has high rate of acceptability among the consumers.

Various types of the meat are being consumed all over the world which include mutton, beef, chicken, lamb meat etc.

Every meat type has its own distinct taste, flavor and aroma, which is the signature characteristics of it but this piece deals with the overall quality of different types of meat.

Quality is normally defined as the accumulation of characteristics required by the consumers.

With special reference to raw meat, these characteristics include visual appearance (color), firmness, smell, texture, juiciness, tenderness, and flavor.

Any change in these parameters severely affects the quality of raw meat and in turn the products prepared from such objectionable meat.

Following are the points which should be kept in consideration, while purchasing any type of the raw meat:

Visual appearance (Color)

Color of raw meat ranks among one of the key features with respect to consumer acceptance.

It mainly varies with the type of the animal or the part of meat to be acquired from that animal type. In general, fresh meat should have vibrant, rich and eye-catching color.

Discolored meat is the indicator of its poor handling.

The color of the meat should be bright red, which is the symbol of the freshest meat, while if the color has turned to brown or purple, this exhibits that it has been exposed to outside environment (oxygen), which makes such changes to the meat color.

It should be virtually free from defects such as bruises, discoloration, feathers and should not have broken bones.

Firmness

Second most important parameter in this regard, is the firmness of the meat. Press the piece of meat firmly with your finger, if it springs back nicely then it is a fresh meat and vice versa.

Smell

Smell or aroma of the fresh meat put a decisive impression towards the consumer acceptance. Fresh meat should not give any sort of smell. Lamb has more of a gamey or wild animal smell, which is normal but meat should never smell like bleach, ammonia or anything foul.

Texture

While purchasing meat one should have a keen look on the the grain of the meat.i.e.the direction of the muscle fibers and how tight or uniform it looks. If the fibers are broken, very loose, or uneven, these can be more signs of poor handling or just poor quality meat. Fresh chicken meat has soft skin which springs back.

If your chicken is too firm or your finger sinks into the meat, IT’S NOT FRESH!

Skin

When buying live chicken and getting it cut in front of a butcher, check its skin for blemishes and any signs of green from behind the wings.Don’t chose that chicken for butchering, if it exhibits these signs.

Avoid bloody pink chicken

Never buy the cut chicken with blood in it, asit enhances the risk of bacterial contamination. This also indicates that the particular meat has been frozen and thawed for several times.

By following these simple tips, one can easily purchase a fresh piece of meat for his family.

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