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Potted meat is a form of traditional food preservation in which hot cooked meat is placed in a pot, tightly packed to exclude air, and then covered with hot fat. As the fat cools, it hardens and forms an airtight seal, preventing some spoilage by airborne bacteria. Before the days of refrigeration, potted meat was developed as a way to preserve meat when a freshly-slaughtered animal could not be fully eaten immediately.