Introduction to module
All food needs to be stored and prepared safely. New developments in preservation and packaging of meat have lead to a greater variety and range of fresh meat and meat products. 
Preservation and packaging can help to prevent food deterioration and food poisoning. For wise consumers, this is economical and also reduces food wastage.
A sound knowledge of different preparation and cooking techniques for meat will also improve the quality and flavour of products and meals.
This module explains the different methods of food preservation, and how the different methods affect the texture, colour and flavour of meat meals. 
Key messages
The key messages of the module include: 
  • Food preservation is important to increase the shelf life of products.
  • Shelf life depends on: water; acidity; hygienic handling; methods of preservation.
  • Convection is where currents of hot air or hot liquid transfer the heat energy to the food.
  • Conduction is where heat is transferred through solid objects by the vibration of heated molecules. 
  • Radiation is where heat is transferred from a heat source in the form of rays which travel quickly in straight lines. 
  • Meat can be tenderised by physical action, enzymes or acids and marinades.
  • Meat changes colour during food preparation when the pigment myoglobin changes.
Resources available
All about meat
1 x PowerPoint presentation
3 x Worksheets - Meat storage and preparation note sheet and answer sheet
- Which type of food preservation is it?
- Cooking with red meat
3x Interactive whiteboard (IWB) activities - Be a safe and hygienic cook; Misfits - cooking scenarios and Fridge to fork
- PowerPoint presentations
- Notebooks
- Flipcharts
 Links to existing resources
The Digi bite Burger packaging and storage provides students with an insight into one type of meat packaging and may be useful starter activity to show before the PowerPoint presentation.
Classroom activities
Use the PowerPoint presentation to complete the worksheet Meat storage and preparation
Ask groups of students to complete the worksheet Cooking with red meat. Following completion of the worksheet, ask students to identify ways of reducing fat in each of the selected recipes.
Review the recipes cooked in class and ask them to identify which method of heat transfer would be used.
Ask students to take note of the different types of food packaging they used over one day. Compare and discuss results in the classroom.
Assign students the homework task of identifying five different types of packaged meat in the supermarket. Students could record the type of packaging and the date marks found on these. 
Curriculum links
Design and technology Key Stage 3 The study of making in:
food should include: 
healthy eating models relating to a balanced diet, the nutritional needs of different groups in society and the factors affecting food choice and how to take these into account when planning, preparing and cooking meals and products;
the characteristics of a broad range of ingredients, including their nutritional, functional and sensory properties;
a broad range of practical skills, techniques, equipment and standard recipes, and how to use them to develop, plan and cook meals and single or multiple products.
England September 2014
Design and Technology Key Stage 3 Cooking and nutrition
Pupils should be taught to: 
understand and apply the principles of nutrition and health 
become competent in a range of cooking techniques 
understand the source, seasonality and characteristics of a broad range of ingredients.
Design and technology Key Stage 3  
Making  - Food Pupils should be given opportunities to: 
apply current healthy eating messages in relation to the nutritional needs of different groups in society and consider issues of sustainability in order to make informed choices when planning, preparing and cooking meals or products;
classify food by commodity/group and understand the characteristics of a broad range of ingredients, including their nutritional, functional and sensory properties.
Northern Ireland
Key Stage 3
Learning for life and work: Home Economics
Key Concept – Healthy Eating 
Exploring Healthy Eating provides opportunities to develop understanding required in the choice, planning, storage, preparation, cooking and serving of food. 
Pupils should have opportunities to: Explore ways to achieve a healthy diet; Investigate the impact of storage, preparation and cooking on food; Develop the practical skills in the safe use of a range of utensils and appliances in the preparation, cooking and serving of a variety of dishes; and Develop practical skills in the safe, hygienic, healthy and creative use of foods to plan, prepare, cook and serve a range of meals