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I anticipate my 09 should be here tomorrow (maybe Wed.) I was out doing regular grocery shopping today and stopped at Cash and Carry for some other stuff. I noticed that they have IBP pork butts on sale for .99/lb packed 2 per a cryopack. There's a date on the front - I need to check, but I think it's a "packed on" date.

How long can meat be in these cryopacks and still be 'safe' (assuming it's been kept refrigerated etc)

The meat looks dark, but I'm assuming that's because it hasn't had air exposed to it.

If you're buying in cryopacks - what do you look for?

Something tells me that by the end of the weekend I'll have an excess of pulled porkSmiler

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Lots of cook teams like IBP pork products.

The feeling is that if you keep it in a dedicated refrig,down close to freezing,two weeks is about all you would like to push.

The case date is typically the kill/pack date.

In a good freezer,frozen cryopaks will hold for many months,although some teams prefer not to freeze their comp pork.

IBP likes to pack in about 15-20 lb 2 pks,which is a good weight to work with.

At that price,I'd buy all I could freeze.

Hope this helps a little.
I know that pork butt is the meat that's on sale, but it's worth noting that the same rules don't apply to all meats. You mentioned cryopacks in general. I think the two main things to check on cryopacks is the pack date, and make sure the bag is doesn't have air in it. I've seen cryo briskets that were sealed, but had obvious air in the bag.

On the topic of pack dates, if I were buying fresh (unfrozen)pork butt, I wouldn't want the pack date to be over two weeks ago, and if it was right at two weeks, I'd get it frozen or used within two or three days. Brisket (well, beef in general)is a bit different. I would say you are fine up to a month, and I think the best flavor is achieved using cryopacked briskets in the 3-4 weeks old range. There is some debate about it's effectiveness, but if you want to learn more about the beef end of cryopacking, Google "wet-aging".
Matt brings up a good point about Cryo's. I always try to move them with my finger. If they move and there is an air gap, you'll know it. More than once I've taken a package to the butcher I found in his case and told him. TRUST ME, you don't want to open one of those up, for pork, you'll know it's bad.

Let's be clear (for anyone who's buying Cryo meats).

Beef can be wet aged under VERY controlled conditions (I do it all the time, in fact I'm buying my Christmas PR shortly).

Pork can't.

If you don't know the pack date, I wouldn't buy anything, even in a cryovac. EVER. Without a date you're at the mercy of the shop.

If you know the date, I don't go with pork that's over a week old. Some will go two weeks, but not me. Why? Because I don't know if they've kept it in refrigeration correctly. Sitting out on the counter, isn't refrigerated. You can buy pork two weeks old if it's been refrigerated 100% of the time.

It's easy enough to buy fresher for a few cents more per pd.
Last edited by Former Member
Again, thanks to those with more experience for their thoughts on the meat safety, cryovac issues.

Prior to this, there's been a 'meat department' dealing with the cryopack stage and repackaging it before it got to me, knowing these guidelines is very helpful.

Appreciate your sharing with me.
There is no doubt the invention of cryovac has helped the meat industry immensely. However, there are some packers who will cryovac as a last resort in order to prolong the freshness of the cut.

For example, pork butts are not moving for them due to demand. After two or three days, the employees will place them in COV bags and remove the air and seal. They can now 'sit' on them until they start selling again. If they hadn't COV'd them they would have had to drop their price in order to move them. That is why it is very important to check the 'packed on date'.

If you plan to keep them two weeks in a controlled environment, preferably as close to 32 degrees F, check each package to ensure that they are not 'leakers'.

A leaker is a COV'd pack that had an improper seal, torn bag due to a protruding bone or a punctured bag. They are quite easy to spot if you grab each bag and wiggle it around. If the bag is very loose, it is a leaker and can spoil very fast.

The same rule applies to all vacuum packed product.

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