CS News

CS Mythbusters 2.2 Jun.12.2020
CS Mythbusters 2.2

Series 2.2  – The right way to thaw your meat

Don’t rush the defrost

Most of the injustices against meat aren’t actually perpetrated during the freezing process. It’s defrosting that can go horribly wrong. As water freezes, it expands, and this affects the texture of an animal’s muscles. There’s a ton of moisture in muscle meat, so when that expands, all the muscle fibres go along with it. But then if you’re trying to defrost it super quickly, it doesn’t really have a way of shrinking slowly and going back to the way it was. This process of quickly expanding and contracting the muscle is not good for texture. By the time you’ve moved meat from freezer to refrigerator and waited patiently for it to defrost, you can feel confident that you’ve avoided all crises and dinner party embarrassments, and an excellent piece of meat is in your future. All that’s left to do is cook it.

 
 

Thawing/Defrosting meat the right way

As published by the Singapore Food Agency, when food is frozen below 0°C , some of the bacteria found in the food may be inactive but still alive. When frozen food is thawed, its core temperature rises and bacteria may start to be active again and multiply. Frozen food should therefore not be left to thaw at room temperature, as though the centre of the package may still be frozen as it thaws on the counter, the outer layer of the food could be in the danger zone at temperatures where food poisoning bacteria multiply rapidly high levels. Food handlers must plan ahead to allocate sufficient time and space; and use the appropriate method of thawing. Harmful bacteria can grow in food that is not thawed properly. Keep food safe by using a safe thawing method and by cooking thawed food thoroughly.

There are several ways to thaw food safely as suggested by the Singapore Food Agency and other sources , as reflected below, but it is key to note that our recommended method of thawing is always planning ahead of time so that you do not need to rush the defrost and have enough time to thaw you meat in the chiller! It is the best way to ensure food quality is kept to its premium, bacteria is kept away and your end cooked product would be the highest quality!

 
 

Our Strong Recommendation: Refrigerator/Chiller Thawing

Planning ahead is the key to this method because of the lengthy time involved. It takes about 24 hours to defreeze every 2.5 Kilograms of meat. When thawing foods in the refrigerator, there are variables to take into account. Thaw raw food at the lowest shelf of the refrigerator or chiller or below cooked / ready-to-eat food to prevent cross-contamination. Place food on a tray or in a container to prevent drippings from meat and poultry onto other food. After thawing in the refrigerator, items such as ground meat, stew meat, poultry, seafood, should remain safe and good quality for an additional day or two before cooking; red meat cuts (such as beef, lamb roasts, chops and steaks) 3 to 5 days.

 
 

Other less recommended but possible methods of thawing only if you are in a rush

1) Cold Water Thawing

This method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention. The food must be in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Also, the meat tissue may absorb water, resulting in a watery product. The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw. Small packages of meat, poultry or seafood may thaw in an hour or less. If thawed completely, the food must be cooked immediately. Avoid cross-contamination from water dripping off the food or splashing onto other food.

2) Microwave Thawing

When thawing food in a microwave, place food in the microwave oven on the defrost setting and plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the thawing process, , bringing the food to the “Temperature Danger Zone” between 5°C and 60°C. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present wouldn’t have been destroyed and, indeed, the food may have reached optimal temperatures for bacteria to grow. Refrain from thawing large food items in the microwave and clean the microwave thoroughly after using it for thawing. Also, never thaw foods in a garage, basement, car, dishwasher or plastic garbage bag; out on the kitchen counter, outdoors or on the porch. These methods can leave your foods unsafe to eat.

Yes, you can refreeze your thawed meat

 

As mentioned by food expert Tamika Sims in her Business Insider interview, it’s not ideal for flavour, but it’s safe to refreeze thawed meat as long as you thaw it in the refrigerator, though that you’ll lose some of the quality each time you do it as you will have lost some of the juices that were in the meat, resulting in some loss of flavour quality. For safety’s sake, you shouldn’t refreeze anything that’s been out of the refrigerator at room temperature for two hours. If it’s been out of the fridge and you’re in a hot room or it’s near the stove where the temp is hotter than room temp, you shouldn’t leave it there for more than an hour if you’re going to refreeze. From a safety point of view, it is fine to refreeze defrosted meat or chicken or any frozen food as long as it was defrosted in a fridge running at 5°C or below. Some quality may be lost by defrosting then refreezing foods as the cells break down a little and the food can become slightly watery.

 

Another option is to cook the defrosted food and then divide into small portions and refreeze once it has stopped steaming. Steam in a closed container leads to condensation, which can result in pools of water forming. This, combined with the nutrients in the food, creates the perfect environment for microbial growth. So it’s always best to wait about 30 minutes before refrigerating or freezing hot food.

 
 

Conclusion

Therefore, we have busted yet another myth in our CS MythBusters series. There are common misconceptions regarding frozen foods which we hope we have addressed within this article. What is most crucial is how you prepare your meat for the freezer and how it is dealt with when thawing. CS Foods does its best in going the extra mile to ensure that food that arrives to your homes can be placed directly into the freezer and can be safely thawed as well within the chiller so you can enjoy our premium cuts of meat with the safest peace of mind. Therefore, wait no longer and check out our wide range of both Fresh & Frozen products for your cooking needs today!

 


			 		
CS Mythbusters 2.1 Jun.12.2020
CS Mythbusters 2.1

Series 2.1 Myth: Frozen meat is inferior to Fresh meat

While shopping, we often steer clear of the frozen food aisle even though we can’t stop thinking about their convenience and taste. Just like old legends, myths about frozen foods have existed for a long time without any logical explanation. Somehow, we are convinced that frozen foods are not good for our health due to the perception of them being highly processed and low in nutrition. We have this misconception that fresh food is always better in quality than frozen food. However, researchers and nutritionists around the globe are ready to vouch for the goodness of frozen foods and have established studies proving that frozen meat and fresh meat are equally high in quality.

According to a recent food and nutrition research conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “the freezing process itself does not destroy nutrients in meat and poultry products, (and) there is little change in nutrient value during freezer storage.” In other words, the nutritional value of frozen and fresh meat is identical! Moreover, because there’s only a slight loss of protein content as a result of nutrient retention from the freezing process, this translates into a larger intake of protein from frozen meat. This is crucial as protein promotes growth and helps with repair of body tissues.

There are also concerns on the safety of frozen food. It has been proven by USDA that food stored constantly at 0 °C will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.

Probably one of the most common pieces of food we all store in the freezer, meat, fares very well when frozen. Meat freezes beautifully and contains nutrients including protein, minerals and vitamins A and D that are unaffected by the process. However, red meat stays better in the freezer than white meat. White meat such as chicken generally has higher water content. Water in the meat freezes and turns to crystals, which eventually alters the structure of the meat. This can then affect the flavour and taste, making some white meat cuts taste bland and watery. For best results, you should use frozen white meat within 6 months of freezing to avoid too much damage to the meat.

 

Preparing meat for the freezer

When you order meat from us here at CS Foods, our house brand Butcher’s Guide specialises in all kinds of meats and provides exquisite and bespoke cutting and marination services to the discerning consumer. We offer a one-stop service for all cut-and-wrap and value added processing needs. As a result, all of our meats are delivered to your doorstop in full vacuum packing which allows you to transfer the meat right to your freezer without requiring any intervention. The wax lining that is present on the inside as well as the air tight vacuum packaging that the meat arrives is, is going to be one of those barriers that helps prevent ice crystals from forming on meat that’s in your freezer. The best way to freeze it is to leave it in that packaging. Right from our facility, to your doorstep to your freezer.

For other kinds of meat from that may not be arriving in such vacuum packaging, and requires the transfer from a Styrofoam tray, as recommended by Eater, make sure you’re using zipper-lock bags specifically labelled for freezer use. Thinner plastic bags don’t hold up well to freezer burn. The goal when storing meat is to leave as little surface area as possible for water crystals to form in the freezer. If you have a vacuum sealer and the accompanying bags, this is the best option. If not, the cooking website Serious Eats recommends leaving just a corner of your zipper-lock bag unzipped, and immersing the bag slowly into water, which will push out all of the air. Zip the bag shut while it’s still nearly immersed, and you’re good to go.

Before freezing any meat, even if you’re positive you’ll use it next week, use a permanent marker to put a date on it. This is particularly important for meat that you don’t freeze the same day that you buy it. If ground beef sits in the refrigerator for a week before it’s frozen, it may only have one or two good days left after it’s been defrosted. The freezer does not reset the rate of expiration. If the meat wasn’t tagged with a date at the store, label it with both the buying and the freezing date before you slide it into the freezer.

Large cuts and joints of all types of meat last better than smaller ones. Small cuts have a larger surface area compared to their volume, so more air reaches the meat, making them more prone to ‘freezer burn’. This happens when water evaporates from food, causing it to dry out and leaving discoloured, bruised-looking patches. Food with freezer burn, although entirely safe, tastes bland and pretty horrible. Prevent it by wrapping meat in two layers of airtight clingfilm to retain moisture.

Same concepts apply for our seafood products as well. As soon as they are pulled from the ocean, fish begin to decay. Surprisingly, fish on ‘fresh’ counters can be three weeks old (fillets and whole fish are chilled instead of frozen to stop them going off), so buying frozen means it’s effectively fresher, with more nutrients intact. On-board freezers and fast-freezing technology mean fish can be frozen within hours of being caught, so nutrients are well preserved. It can still taste fresh and firm after three months in the freezer — moulds and bacteria can’t grow at such low temperatures. Much longer, however, and delicate fish flesh breaks down as ice crystals form.

Prawns, shrimp and other crustaceans are especially good from frozen as well as they have a high fat content, which means fewer taste-zapping ice crystals. Often prawns and shellfish will be stored in a protective coating of ice known as a glaze, which manufacturers wrap around food to stop air getting to it, reducing oxidation and preventing freezer burn. Glazing is usually carried out by dipping frozen seafood into water for a short period, then refreezing. A glaze doesn’t affect taste as long as you drain all the juices away carefully before using the fish.

As with meat, large pieces of fish freeze better and are more resilient to the damaging effect of extreme cold. Whole salmon lasts particularly well, due to its insulating fat under the skin. Thin, fragile fish such as plaice and sole don’t manage so well, however, and might only last a few weeks before falling apart on defrosting.

 

Freezing isn’t forever

It’s all too easy to treat the freezer as some sort of time machine. Sadly, even meat left in the freezer will start to lose its oomph after a few months. While the USDA recommends keeping uncooked roasts, steaks, and chops in the freezer for anywhere from four to 12 months, pulling meat from the freezer around the six-month mark and no later than after nine months will ensure it still tastes the way it should. Chicken will last a little longer than steak and you’ll want to use ground meat sooner (think three to four months), since the large amount of surface area leaves it particularly vulnerable to freezer burn. A lot of times people think once they put something into the freezer, they can kind of forget about it until whenever, but really freezing something just slows down the process of it going bad — There’s still an expiration date on it.

 

Conclusion

Therefore, in this first part of our second MythBusters, we bust the myth and proved how both Frozen Food and Fresh Food are equally high in quality! Stay tuned to our second part which would include the best & right way to thaw your meat!

 


			 		
CS Mythbusters 1.0 May.14.2020
CS Mythbusters 1.0

MythBusters Series 1.0 – Halal meat is inferior in quality  

The Myth: With all our products at CS Foods being 100% Halal, there have been several opinions we have come across of on how there is a perception that if a certain slab of meat is Halal certified, then it is for a fact that it’s quality would have been undermined. There have been several reasons attributed to this, such as the difference brought about by the use of a stun gun prior to slaughtering of the animals, as well as the difference in the method of slaughtering used. There have also been several reports that have claimed that the Halal market is like a clearance sale, offering old animals, especially sheep, past their usefulness and animals whose physical characteristics exclude them from standard marketing channels, giving rise to the perception in the wavering quality. To bust this myth, we will study and present facts with regards to this topic.

What exactly is Halal meat?

There are often certain misconceptions of what exactly is Halal meat. As presented by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), the Islamic religious council of Singapore, A processed food is “Halal” if it meets the following conditions: the product or its ingredients does not contain any components or products of animals that are non-Halal by Shariah Law or animals that are not slaughtered according to Shariah Law; the product does not contain anything in large or small quantities that is considered as najis according to Shariah Law; the product is prepared, processed or manufactured using equipment and facilities that are free from contamination with najis; and during its preparation, processing, storage or transportation, it should be fully separated from any other food that does not meet the requirements specified above or any other things that are considered as najis by Shariah Law. Therefore, the key differentiating factor between Halal meat and non-Halal meat is the method of slaughtering, whereas the animals used are essentially the same.

What defines good quality meat?

Meat quality and consistency are important in ensuring consumer satisfaction. Quality of meat is affected by the genetic propensity of the animal, how the animal is reared, and the nutritional status during production. These factors affect the fat, lean and connective tissue component of meat and therefore influence meat quality. Quality also is strongly influenced by conditions at the slaughter plant. How animals are handled pre-slaughter affects the rate of rigor mortis as well as animal stress levels prior to slaughtering.

Myth Busted

Putting both the facts together, there is simply no concrete indication, study or facts to show any correlation about Halal meat being of any inferior quality to other meats as there is no research shown towards the method of slaughtering affecting the quality of meat. What is a more important determinant of quality of meat is the source of meat, how the animals are kept, what they are fed and how the meat is preserved in international shipping.

Here at CS Foods, from farm to shelves, we take care of our supply chain system so you can enjoy total freshness from our products, offering meats imported from all over the world. Carrying exclusive distributions of brands such as Union Station & Butcher’s Guide, our meats include hand selected grass fed beef from Australia, carrying young prime grade which further enhances the quality and tenderness of the meat itself. Carrying products that are 100% growth hormone and antibiotics free is another essential differentiator allowing us to offer the highest quality of meat while being 100% Halal to reach out to the mass market and cater to the needs of our Muslim brothers and sisters as well.

Wrapping the first edition of our series up, this myth is strongly BUSTED and NULLIFIED and there stands strong resistance against any link between Halal meat being lower in quality.

So what are you waiting for? Just like this myth being busted, bust your hunger and head to our online store now!

Purchase our Union Station Australian Angus Beef Striploin or Butcher’s Guide Beef Bone-in Short Ribs to test for yourself how despite being 100% Halal and free of any preservatives, our meat offerings are of the highest quality!

Take advantage of our Ramadan promo running now as well, with selected items at a flat 30% discount!


			 		
Our Very Own Premium Housebrand: Butcher's Guide! Jul.22.2019
Our Very Own Premium Housebrand: Butcher's Guide!

Today, we will be introducing our very own premium housebrand: Butcher’s Guide!

Butcher’s Guide was founded by CS Foods to provide our customers with premium quality meat the way you want it. We specialise in all kinds of meat and provide exquisite and bespoke cutting services according to your needs. Whether you want your meat cut, cubed, sliced or minced, our highly skilled butchers will customize to your liking. With Butcher’s Guide, you no longer have to fret about handling meat because we are always here to make cooking easier for you.

On top of the typical butchery services, our butchery experts also offer many professional services such as:

✔ Cutting and packing to all requirements

✔ Advice on costing and yields

✔ Advice on further processing

✔ Carcass appraisal

✔ Vacuum Packing

 

We are committed to our slogan, A Cut above the Rest.

Facility

We have a 5300 square foot facility located in Burn Road, Singapore certified by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore. Our production facility is equipped with high-tech machines to make sure that our production is efficient and most importantly, safe. We have a boiler machine that we use for sanitation in our operations to make sure that the equipment and the meat we are handling are always sanitised without the use of excessive chemicals. Within the same facility, we also have a freezer room and a chiller room that are closely monitored to make sure the temperature is always optimal for the storage of our meat. Our facility is built with the mission in mind to ensure highest quality in our products.

Skills

Our dedicated butchers are highly trained in traditional hand-cutting methods – this allows us the flexibility to customize our services regardless of our requirements.

 

 

 

 

Products

We are steadfast in our mission of quality. Our cut products are meticulously prepared such that all the sinews are removed in the end products. Our minced products are 100% quality meat with no added ingredients such as water. Our meatballs and patties are uniquely crafted with our gourmet recipe to have the optimal blend of fats and meat to bring you the ultimate balance of flavour and juiciness. We are ISO 22000 certified and all our products are Halal-certified too.

Support Services

As a brand, we are committed to provide the best service to you so that every cut is a cut above the rest. We welcome you to provide feedback to our professional butchers and friendly staff on your requirements or for suggestions and tips to create wonderful and delicious meals. 1692.39

Shop for Butcher’s Guide products here!

Union Station Beef in Singapore! Jul.01.2019
Union Station Beef in Singapore!

We are proud to be the exclusive distributor of the premium Union Station beef in Singapore!

 

Union Station beef is freshly imported hand-selected grass-fed beef from Australia. They are YP grade, which means they are young prime beef below 36 months of age. They are also 100% Australian Heritage, 100% Free Range and 100% Hormone & Antibiotic Free.

Why Grass-fed Beef?

Grass-fed Beef is generally low in fat and cholesterol because they are much leaner than grain-fed beef. They are also rich in key nutrients which include antioxidants and vitamins. Grass-fed beef offers about 50% more omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of certain types of cancers.

Why Young Prime Beef?

Australian beef is placed in different categories based on their age and gender:

Yearling beef/steer (Y/YS) Up to 18 months of age, must be male if YS
Young beef/steer (YG/YGS) Up to 30 months of age, must be male is YGS
Young Prime beef/steer (YP/YPS) Up to 36 months of age, must be male if YPS
Prime beef/steer (PR/PRS) Up to 42 months of age, must be male if PRS
Female/ Male Ox (S/SS) Any age, must be male if SS
Cow (C) Over 42 months of age, must be female

 

While beef of a younger age tends to be more tender, have a finer texture and a smoother taste, it does not pack as much flavour as their more mature counterparts. The flavour of the beef comes from the age of the animal because the longer the animal lives, the more work it will do and the more food it will eat. In fact, it is the activity and diet of the animal that gives mature beef a more distinct beefy flavour compared to young beef.

This is why our premium Union Station Young Prime beef (YP grade) is the perfect compromise between tenderness and flavour because it has neither the toughness of older beef nor the blandness of younger beef.

I’m ready to try! How do I know which part to buy?

Different cuts of beef should be cooked differently because they come from various parts of the animal which have their own specific functions. These cuts can vary in the amount of fat, tenderness and flavour depending on the parts they come from. But fret not because we are going to share with you some tips on how to prepare and cook these different parts!

RIBEYE

Cut from the rib area, the “eye” in the ribeye refers to the centre of the rib region of a beef. As one of the finest cuts of beef, ribeye steaks are known for its juiciness, tenderness, superb marbling and flavour. Ribeye steaks are best grilled or smoked for a long period of time over dry heat in a BBQ. Smear on a nice dry rub and grill it medium for the maximum flavour. Best to keep the marination and seasoning simple with just salt and pepper to see the marbling in the steak work their magic. Make sure the ribeye steak you choose is bright red, with white strips of fat running throughout. These marbling fats will melt right in when you are cooking it.

SIRLOIN

Cut from the back of the cow, the sirloin steak comes from the striploin. This cut is known to have a nice balance of tenderness and flavour. Cook your sirloin steak with high temperature such as pan frying, grilling, broiling, sautéing and barbecuing. Sear the steak in a sizzling hot pan with lots of fat for the maximum indulgence. If you are thinking to do a roast instead, make sure you trim the fat accordingly. Top it with mushroom or bourbon sauce to bring out the rich flavour. When selecting sirloin, find one that says top sirloin for a more premium cut. It should be 1 -2 inches thick with a nice band of fat. If you are not very confident in cooking steaks and just want to try, sirloin steak is definitely recommended. It is more affordable and versatile compared to the more premium cuts like ribeye and tenderloin. You would probably not feel the pang as much if you overcook the steak by a little.

TENDERLOIN     

Cut from the region along the spine of the cow, the tenderloin is the most tender and lean part of beef. People choose tenderloin steaks to experience the melt-in-the-mouth sensation that the tenderloin is known for. The tenderloin is so tender because that part hardly has to do any work, hence it also only contains a small amount of connective tissue and fat. It is best suited for pan frying, barbecuing or even roasting if it is kept as a whole fillet. It is very important to make sure the steak isn’t overcook though because the leanness of the steak can translate to dryness if it’s overcooked.

Shop for premium Union Station beef products here!

Sabatino Tartufi - All about Truffles Jul.08.2019
Sabatino Tartufi - All about Truffles

We are proud to be the distributor of the premium Sabatino Tartufi truffle products in Singapore!

 

Read all about the prestigious history of Sabatino Tartufi and interesting facts about truffles below!

Sabatino Tartufi truffle are premium products infused with Italian heritage. The company was founded in a small Italian town by Sabatino Balestra and his wife, Giuseppina. Their passion for truffles, love for their land, hard work and ambition have develop the brand into what it is today. Since 1911, the family of Sabatino and Giuseppina has gained vast experience in this difficult and delicate enterprise. They prepare their truffles using traditional recipes, preserving them but yet retaining all the authentic quality, taste and aroma.

Despite staying true to their heritage, they are capable of using innovation to face and win challenges of the international market. With their innovation, Sabatino only produces the highest grade of truffle species and best range of truffle products. That said, they have not forgotten where it all started. They remain steadfast to their family values, traditions and dedication to the customer. The blend of their modern technologies and traditional recipes is what create the ultimate truffle experience that the world is enjoying today.

What exactly are Truffles?

Truffles are a type of subterranean fungus. They can be found in many parts of the world but are mainly concentrated in regions such as the Italian and French countryside. Truffles are considered very valuable because they are seasonal, difficult to find and extremely rare. It takes around 7 to 15 years to cultivate these “diamonds” of the culinary world.

Did you know? Truffles actually give off a smell similar to the pheromones that males produced to attract females which is why women sometimes describe the aroma of truffles as sensual. Who knows, try some of our Sabatino truffle products and maybe you will be seduced by them too.

What’s the Difference between White and Black Truffle?

In CS Frozen Food, we offer both white and black truffle oil, along with truffle zest and paste. Many customers ask us what’s the difference between white and black truffle oil and how to use them in cooking. Here, we will share with you some tips you will find very useful in deciding what to use!

Black Truffle Oil

Black Truffles have the strongest flavour among all the truffles. Due to their robust flavour and pungent aroma, they are best paired with stronger foods. The same is true for Sabatino black truffle oil which is made from Italian olive oil infused with black truffle extract. Their strong and earthly flavour is an excellent complement of red meat, creamy sauces and savoury pastries. Add black truffle oil to cooked sauces, drizzle over hearty meat dishes or add a tablespoon or so onto a vinaigrette dressing for the maximum impact.

White Truffle Oil

Unlike Black Truffle, White Truffle has a more subtle flavour and aroma, but they are the rarest among all truffle due to the fact that they only grow in the cooler months of Fall and Winter. Made from Italian olive oil infused with White Truffle extracts, the white truffle oil has a slightly garlicky and peppery flavour. It is an excellent match with beef carpaccio, white-fleshed fish, shellfish and meats with more delicate flavours. Other than meat, White Truffle Oil can also be used on dishes such as risottos, pastas, egg dishes and fondues.

Shop for premium Sabatino Tartufi Truffle products here!

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