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Thread: What's up with my ground beef?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Washington DC
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    What's up with my ground beef?

    Hello all, I'm sure this has been discussed before but wanted to ask anyway...I just bought a package of ground beef and it looked fine on the outside, but when I went to make it into hamburgers, it was gray in the middle...I got scared and just threw it out but is this normal and should I have taken it back to the store?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    495
    I think your meat was fine. Most times mine looks that way too.

    I'm not sure but I think when air reaches the meat it turns it grey so they mix the newer (red) meat with the older (grey) meat. Any way it should be fine when cooked.

    Anybody else have a better explanation of the grey in the middle thing?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    military family, Germany
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    341
    Yes - meat that is covered will have a grayish appearance. i asked my butcher this same question once. As long as the meat is not past its expiration date and smells fresh, then it should be fine. The outer portion of the meat will be red , the inner portion will be bluer - much like the blood in our veins that turns from blue to red when it is exposed to oxygen. You'll notice the same thing if you buy a steak that has a label - the spot under the label will often be greyish and have the shape of the label. Obviously, if you can get your meat right after it has been packaged, the meat will probably be more uniform on color.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2001
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    northern california
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    what i've heard about this in the past is that grocery stores put some kind of food coloring on meat so that it appears red..this is what sells it, people won't buy meat that looks aged..although thats what they want.
    Karen

  5. #5
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    Jul 2001
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    Washington DC
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    Thanks all for the help! Too bad i threw away perfectly fine ground beef!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    IL
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    12,505
    Originally posted by Kjente2
    what i've heard about this in the past is that grocery stores put some kind of food coloring on meat so that it appears red..this is what sells it, people won't buy meat that looks aged..although thats what they want.
    I've heard the same thing, but I don't think it is a food coloring, but a preservative instead. (Dare I say "chemical???)

  7. #7
    Here's what www.beef.org (run by National Cattlemens Association and other beef-raising groups) has to say:

    Fresh ground beef does go through a number of color changes during its shelf life. These color changes are normal and the ground beef remains perfectly wholesome and safe to eat if purchased by the “sell by” date on the package label.

    A package of ground beef may appear bright red on the surface, where it is exposed to oxygen through the permeable plastic wrapping, while the interior, where oxygen is absent, remains purplish-red.

    With extended exposure to oxygen, beef’s cherry-red color will take on a brown color.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern Ca
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    505
    I would tell you what my butcher said, but I could probably get sued (like Oprah) for slander. If you are able to find an old-fashioned butcher I would highly recommend it. You can feel more comfortable about the quality and freshness of the product. Plus you can make a hamburger that tastes phenomenal.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    751

    are we all real tired of hearing me say I'm new to the area yet?

    I miss my old butcher shop..you couldn't be more right about the quality of meat that you bring home from a shop that specializes...
    Karen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern Ca
    Posts
    505

    for kjente2

    Depending where in northern CA your are there is one in Redding. If you are remotely close or interested for address let me know.

    Tamara

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