Here to Help

Ask a Butcher

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Products

What size turkey do i need?

Here’s some guidelines for servings for each turkey size range.  Please keep in mind that # of servings does not take into account left overs, so if you are counting on turkey sandwiches… be sure to take that into account :- )

Number of servings per turkey size range:

turkey size range

You can always opt for a slightly larger bird if you want to make sure you have leftovers! Remember, cooked turkey leftovers are good for 3-4 days in your fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.

What is a baseball steak?

Baseball steak is another word for top sirloin. Top sirloin steaks are thick in size and meaty in flavour. At Meridian we sell Free Range top sirloin steaks meaning they are raised without added growth hormones.

What’s the best beef steak for the BBQ?

This can be a matter of preference. Personally, I recommend Rib Eye Steak. It is cut from the Prime Rib and has the perfect combination of flavor (due to fat marbling) and tenderness. Other great steaks for grilling, by order of tenderness, are Tenderloin, T-Bone, New York Striploin, and Top Sirloin.

What is Free Run Chicken?

All the chicken we carry at Meridian is Free-Run, meaning they are raised free-run in well ventilated barns with constant access to food and water and they are never confined to cages. They are raised on a vegetable grain diet which is a wholesome blend of corn, wheat, soybean, canola and vitamins.

Why Should I eat Free Range Beef?

There are many reasons why eating Free Range Beef is good, and this is why we offer a large selection of Free Range Beef in our stores. Free Range beef is more humane as the beef is raised on open pasture letting them roam the fields and graze at will. They are never forced to live in confinement and endure the stresses of factory farming. Not only is free range beef more humane, but it is actually healthier for human consumption! Free Range Beef packs a third less fat per serving. Free Range beef is also higher in omega 3s than other grain finished types of beef. Pound for pound, free range grass fed beef provides the best value taking into account health, animal welfare and environmental impact.

What is Free Range beef?

Beef that is free range has been raised on wide open pasture where cattle can roam and graze freely, and is never confined to feed lots. The diet of Free Range Beef consists of only fresh naturally growing grass and forage. This type of beef is never fed animal by-products, grain, corn, or any other dietary supplements. Free Range Beef is tender, juicy, and flavorful!

Are there GMO’s in the cattle feed?

The grain/corn fed to conventionally raised cattle and grass consumed by our free range cattle may contain GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).

Is Free Range Beef the same as Certified Organic Beef?

No. There are several key differences. Generally speaking, specifications for beef that is certified organic include:

  • Never receive antibiotics
  • Never receive added growth hormones.
  • Are fed only certified organic grain/corn and grasses. (ie: Non-GMO, no pesticides)

Specifications for our Free Range Grass-fed Beef include:

  • Never receive added growth hormones
  • Never fed grains. 100% grass diet.
  • Roam free on pasture for the duration of life. (This may or may not apply to certified organic beef – depending on the proprietary requirements of the company giving certification)
How does the beef get delivered to Meridian all the way from New Zealand?

Our beef is transported fresh, directly to us by way of refrigerated cargo.

Do you sell any locally raised beef?

Yes. Our Rancher’s Choice beef is raised in BC and Alberta. This beef is premium quality, from grain-fed cattle.
Please know, we do sell conventionally raised grain-fed beef raised in BC.

Why don’t you sell locally raised Free Range Grass-Fed Beef?

Free Range-style cattle ranching is common husbandry practice in New Zealand, where the mild climate allows grass to grow year round. Although it is our preference to sell beef raised locally in Canada, to date we have not been able to source a consistent supply of fresh local free range grass-fed beef.

Food Safety

How long should I cook my turkey?

Our Fresh Free Range Turkeys generally cook 20% faster than conventional, or previously frozen birds due to their freshness and higher moisture content in the meat fibres, part of what makes them so tender and tasty.  Below are some cooking time guidelines.  Note: A meat thermometer should always be used to ensure that the internal temperature in thickest part of the thigh reaches 170F before serving.

Oven Roasting Chart

How can I know when my steak is done to my liking?

The longer meat is cooked, the more firm it becomes. The texture of the various degrees of doneness of meat are similar to the feel of the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb. Try this thumb and finger test the next time you cook a steak and see how accurate it is!

Steaks well done
Rare:

Thumb to index finger: Steak will be soft and squishy
Medium Rare:
Thumb to Middle Finger: Steak is firmer, gently yielding.
Medium:
Thumb to Ring Finger: Steak will be firmer, less yielding.

Well Done:

Thumb to Pinky Finger: Steak will feel hard yet springy.
Is eating meat unhealthy?

Most meat fits easily into a healthy diet. Meat contains all the essential amino acids and meat proteins which are 95 to 100% digestible. Also, meat is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is the only natural source for certain B vitamins. Furthermore, iron from meat is four times more absorbable than iron from other sources. The consumption of meat is vital for cognitive development of children and young adults and does fit into a healthy lifestyle. Whether it be meat, fruit or vegetables moderation is important for a healthy lifestyle.

Is it safe to eat steak that is cooked to rare or medium rare?

Ground beef, pork and lamb should not be cooked to rare, but whole cuts such as steaks, chops and roasts can safely be cooked to rare or medium rare degree of doneness and it is safe for human consumption.

What is the best way to thaw frozen meat?

The best way to thaw frozen meat is to plan ahead and defrost in the fridge the day before you want to prepare your meat. Thawing the meat in the refrigerator can help maintain the quality of the meat.

How long should I store my dry foods?
Recommended Storage Timefor Dry Goods:10 to 21 degrees C

(50 to 70 degrees F)

Food Maximum Storage Period (months)
Dry Yeast 18
Powdered Milk 4
Canned Goods 12
Cereal Grains 8
Spices 24
Dry Beans 24
Dried Fruit 8
James/Jellies 12
Nuts 12
Pickles 12
Flour 12

For more information: www.foodsafe.ca

How long can I store foods in my freezer?

 

Recommended Storage Time for Frozen Food: -18 degrees C 

(0 degrees F)

Frozen Food Maximum Storage Period (Months)
Roasts/Steaks 3
Bacon/wieners 5
Poultry 5
Giblets 3
Fatty Fish (Salmon, Mackerel) 3
Shellfish 3
Other Fish 6
Leftover Meats/Gravy 3
Pre-cooked Combination Dishes 6
Bread Dough Containing Yeast 1
Cake Batter 4
How can I reheat food in a safe way?

Always reheat your food rapidly to a minimum of 74 degrees C (165 degrees F). The highest possible temperature should be used when reheating food. Using holding ovens, steam tables, and soup urns should never be used to warm up cold foods.

How can I tell if my food is cooked to the right temperature?

Cook foods to the correct internal temperature of 74 degrees C (165 degrees F) for a minimum time of 15 seconds. If the food you are cooking is large, insert a thermometer into the thickest area of the food item. Here are the safe minimum cooking temperatures:

Category Food

Temperature (°F) 

 
Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

160

Turkey, Chicken

165

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb Steaks, roasts, chops

145

Poultry Chicken & Turkey, whole

165

Poultry breasts, roasts

165

Poultry thighs, legs, wings

165

Duck & Goose

165

Stuffing

165

Pork and Ham Fresh pork

145

 Precooked ham (to reheat)

140

Eggs & Egg Dishes Eggs

Cook until yolk and white are firm

Egg dishes

160

Leftovers & Casseroles Leftovers

165

Casseroles

165

Seafood Fin Fish

145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.

Shrimp, lobster, and crabs

Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque.

Clams, oysters, and mussels

Cook until shells open during cooking.

Scallops

Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm.

What is the best way to store food safely?

There are many different important steps in proper food storage. By properly storing food and maintaining correct temperatures you will decrease the chances of food borne illness and keep your food fresher longer. Here are some important tips:

  1. Food stored in the fridge should be covered to prevent contamination from the air, condensation and drippings from other foods
  2. Ensure that your fridge is set to a temperature of 4 degrees C (40 degrees F)
  3. Ensure that your freezer is set to -18 degrees Celsius  (0 degrees F) or lower
  4. Bulk food items such as flour should be stored in covered bins to prevent dust, insects and any other type of material from entering
What is the Danger Zone?

The danger zone is a temperature range where pathogens multiply rapidly. The danger zone is between 4 degrees C and 60 degrees Celsius (40 – 140 degrees F). Harmful bacteria can multiply at these temperatures.

How can I prevent food poisoning?

Fortunately, most cases of food poisoning can be prevented with proper food handling. To practice food safety, quickly refrigerate perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs — don’t let them sit more than two hours at typical room temperature or more than one hour at temperatures above 90 F (32 C).

Uncooked foods, such as cold salads or sandwiches, also should be eaten or refrigerated promptly. Your goal is to minimize the time a food is in the “danger zone” — between 40 and 140 F (4 and 60 C) — when bacteria can quickly multiply.

When you’re ready to eat leftovers, reheat them on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave until the internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 C). Because they may not get hot enough, slow cookers and chafing dishes aren’t recommended for reheating leftovers.

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning — also called foodborne illness — is caused by harmful organisms, such as bacteria in contaminated food. Because bacteria typically doesn’t change the taste, smell or look of food, you can’t tell whether a food is dangerous to eat. So if you’re in doubt about a food’s safety, it’s best to throw it out.

How long can I keep leftovers in the fridge?

Leftovers can be kept for two to five days in the refrigerator depending on the item. Be sure to eat them within that time. After that time period the risk of food poisoning increases. If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them immediately. Please refer to the chart below for proper storage times.

Recommended Storage Timefor Refrigerated Food:

 0 – 4 degrees Celsius

(32 to 40 degrees F)

Refrigerated Food Maximum Storage Period (in days)
Ground Meat 2-3
Roasts/Steaks 3-5
Bacon/wieners 6-7
Poultry 2-3
Fish/Shellfish 1-2
Leftover egg yolk/white 1-2
Luncheon Meats 3-5
Leftover cooked meats/gravy 1-2
Stuffing 1-2

Still Have Questions?

Ask A Butcher