Research suggests red meat shelf-life can be safely extended

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A joint scientific study between the British Meat Processors Association and Meat and Livestock Australia has proven that the current recommended 10 shelf life for chilled red meat can be safely extended well beyond the current FSA guidance.

The Guardian reported that according to 2008 guidance from the FSA, clarified in 2017, the shelf life of either vacuum- or gas-packaged fresh meat kept at 3-8C should be limited to 10 days unless suitable grounds for a longer shelf life can be identified, such as high salt content or low pH.

The industry experts behind the study are contesting the guidelines, calling for a return to the previous situation in which manufacturers and retailers determined use-by dates, a shift that could see the shelf life of packaged and chilled red meat extended to three weeks or more.

The study sought to replicate the conditions and temperature that meat is likely to be stored at in a domestic refrigerator. If the findings are implemented, it could play a role in tackling the problem of consumers currently throwing away £3bn worth of food every year.

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