In the coming days, you'll start to notice a change in how most of your meat is packaged.
For the majority of our meat lines - and starting first with beef products - we'll be changing over to vacuum packaging.
Why change to vacuum packaging?
We're glad you asked.
The biggest advantage for you - the customer - is that your meats stay fresher for longer, and without the need to freeze it (which can affect taste and quality).
This is confirmed by CSIRO research, showing vacuum packed meats offer extended shelf life of up to four to six times longer, compared to those in normal meat trays wrapped with plastic poly wrap that you've seen for years.
Thanks to its longer shelf life - vacuum packed meat helps you avoid creating unnecessary food waste, helping everyone with another small but important positive step towards reducing our collective environmental impact.
Also - vacuum packing means less mess in your fridge. As it creates a perfect seal around your meat, there's no leaks or mess during transport or storage, keeping your fridge and freezer that little bit cleaner.
Which meats will be vacuum packed?
Initially, we'll be starting with beef, with further meat lines switching to vacuum packing in the coming days and weeks.
We'll be updating this page in the coming weeks if there are any specific items which vacuum packing isn't appropriate for.
Does vacuum packing affect my meat in any way?
The short answer is no.
Vacuum packaging removes most of the oxygen from the package before being sealed, which is what allows the meat to last longer.
This can cause meats to appear darker whilst inside a sealed vacuum pack, and to emit a small smell referred to as 'confinement odour' when the packaging is opened.
Both this colour change, and temporary confinement odour, are absolutely normal.
Your meat will return to its normal colour, and the odour should dissipate, shortly after opening. Make sure that you dispose of the vacuum pack in your normal household waste.
Do I need to change how I store or use vacuum packed meats?
Like all fresh food products, your vacuum packed meats should be:
- Stored chilled, preferably at 0-1 degrees for meat; and
- Cooked as soon as possible after opening.
Are there ways to recycle vacuum packs?
Not yet. This is because recyclers don't accept soft plastics with any food contamination present.
We're always keeping an eye on developments for product packaging and recycling. So rest assured that when viable and sustainable alternatives become available, we'll be looking at these closely to further reduce our environmental impact.
What if my meat hasn't been vacuum packed?
The changeover to vacuum packing will take some time; and we won't be able to make this change for every meat line we stock.
We're in the process of identifying which items can't be changed over, and we'll provide more information about these specific items soon here in our Help Centre.
Also, from time to time - if we're running low or out of stock - we may need to source your meat from a supplier who may not use vacuum packing. Whilst we'll do our best to avoid these situations, there will be times when it can't be avoided.
Where can I get more information about the change to vacuum packaging?
That's easy - and you're more than welcome to contact us with your questions at any time.