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I'm prepping for stew.

I'm cutting "beef for stew" into smaller pieces.

I put it in a Pyrex tupperware container.

Then I chop mushrooms and add them to the tupperware container on top of the raw beef.

I intend to cook all of it the next-day in a 6-hour stew. Pour straight from tupperware into crockpot.

As I prepare to chop the carrots, my husband says, "Don't mix the produce and the beef."

Is there danger? (Of cross-contamination presumably?) Even if not, is it a faux-pas? If it matters, other ingredients include cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, stock, and tomato juice

By the way, as I'm prepping, I cut the beef to my preferred size. It comes from the grocer golfball-sized. I don't like chewing that down. So I cut it down to quarter-diameter-sized or marble-sized. Is this just a matter of preference? Even if it is, what would a trained-chef prefer?

Why am I prepping so far in advance? Because I cut enough for a stew now -- so the crockpot is full & running. But while I'm all messy I want to cut the rest so tomorrow I can just plop it into the crockpot. Also welcome opinions on this.

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cut it they way you want, it does not matter at all, and produce and meat together woud be a mortal sin in the kitchen, but if you have a small batch, store one night, and you will cook them together anyway for hours, I dont see any problem with that either. But why wouldnt you store them separetely? If you cook your produce for six hours with the meat you wont have anything left....better to add them later..and store them sep...

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    Thanks. It's a fair argument, "Why not store them separately anyway". It's not much extra effort, just extra tupperware to clean. Also I can appreciate a general caution about mixing produce and beef makes people err on side of caution. I've pretty brazen about this stuff, to the point that maybe I'm contrarian. I don't think I've ever gotten sick on food poisoning -- I seldom get sick. Of course I shouldn't do this with other people, that's careless. – The Red Pea Jan 10 '16 at 20:13
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The reason for keeping meat and veg separate is INDEED to prevent cross-contamination. This is to avoid uncooked Meat juices from spoiling in veg that you are serving fresh or not to meat temps. Further, you can store veg for weeks in a reefer, but if it's been contaminated with meat juice, that's far far too long and unsafe.

You are however cooking the ingredients together in a stew so it won't make much difference. It's all going to be cooked to temp.

  • OK , yes I definitely wouldn't have done it if I planned on doing anything else with the mushrooms -- even something like omelettes. But cross-contamination is a serious concern, so I should ask myself, "why risk it?" – The Red Pea Jan 11 '16 at 0:36
  • Thanks to Escoce and @Marc Luxen -- I think the answer is "it's safe if (stewing) is your plan, but otherwise this would've made the mushrooms unsafe otherwise -- so why not store separately" I'll give to first responder. But I also would agree my question's generally duplicative -- (tons of food safety questions on here) -- just that this stew-scenario specifically helped me. – The Red Pea Jan 11 '16 at 0:38

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