bob_G

Gross red meat question

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My wife and I are at a complete loss over this.

My wife goes to Market Basket and buys some fresh chuck like we usually does. She picks out a large chuck roast, and then asks the butcher to grind half into fresh chuck hamburg, and leave the other half as is. I use the other half and make beef bourguignon.

So, last night I light charcoals  grill so we can make burgers for dinner. Remove the beef from the refrigerator. Both the hamburger and roast are bright candy apple, fire truck red. Almost exaggerated red. I grabbed a handful of hamburger, and my wife and i couldn't believe our eyes! While the meat was candy apple red outside, all the meat inside was a gross dark grayish brown. I mean, dog poop brown.  I took out the bright red roast and cut it open with a knife. Same thing! Gross grayish brown. Yet, both the outside of the hamburg and roast were the brightest red you ever saw. 

 

We returned the meat, and no one would answer our questions. Just a refund.  So, has anyone experienced this, or know what it is? Are they treating old meat with carbon monoxide or some kind of dye?

 

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My wife and I are at a complete loss over this.

My wife goes to Market Basket and buys some fresh chuck like we usually does. She picks out a large chuck roast, and then asks the butcher to grind half into fresh chuck hamburg, and leave the other half as is. I use the other half and make beef bourguignon.

So, last night I light charcoals  grill so we can make burgers for dinner. Remove the beef from the refrigerator. Both the hamburger and roast are bright candy apple, fire truck red. Almost exaggerated red. I grabbed a handful of hamburger, and my wife and i couldn't believe our eyes! While the meat was candy apple red outside, all the meat inside was a gross dark grayish brown. I mean, dog poop brown.  I took out the bright red roast and cut it open with a knife. Same thing! Gross grayish brown. Yet, both the outside of the hamburg and roast were the brightest red you ever saw. 

 

We returned the meat, and no one would answer our questions. Just a refund.  So, has anyone experienced this, or know what it is? Are they treating old meat with carbon monoxide or some kind of dye?

 

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They've been treating meat to make it look better for years

 

Red meat products are somewhat like sliced apples. Their color can change rapidly — even though the product is still safe and wholesome. In fact, retail stores oft en discount red meat products that have changed color but are still safe and wholesome — and well within their shelf life. These detrimental effects to foods, including apples and meat, are the result of chemical changes caused by oxygen. But by eliminating the oxygen from the package and adding minute amounts of carbon monoxide along with other protective gases to the headspace of the red meat packages, products like ground beef can maintain their appealing red color throughout their shelf life.

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a old butcher I know said many years ago they would treat old meat with  ground dynamite to make it red again. Lots of places use the carbon monoxide to keep meat looking "healthy". They get a lot of meat in with it already treated

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The part that bothered me was, the entire exterior of both the hamburg and roast were bright red. Yet 1/4" below the surface it was this ugly color.  Why also wasn't the exterior the same ugly brown? Did they treat the meat with something before giving it to my wife?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

they have some chemistry going on, but it is of ne relevance I guess

best beef steak sits for 50 days, so you actualy want it to be old

Edited by glos

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i have a friend who owns two small markets that specialize in meats.His beef products have always looked artificially red to me so I asked him one day if the beef was treated with something to look that way.He admitted that it was treated with something but he didn't say what it was and I could tell he didn't want to continue the conversation.

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I think this is pretty common as I've seen it plenty of times, something about oxidation of the exterior...  How long did you have it in the fridge?  If its was truly bad it would have a foul odor and be very slimy or sticky.

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Not "Gross". Here you go, straight from the USDA:

 

THE COLOR OF MEAT

5. When displayed at the grocery store, why is some meat bright red and other meat very dark in color?
Optimum surface color of fresh meat (i.e., cherry-red for beef; dark cherry-red for lamb; grayish-pink for pork; and pale pink for veal) is highly unstable and short-lived. When meat is fresh and protected from contact with air (such as in vacuum packages), it has the purple-red color that comes from myoglobin, one of the two key pigments responsible for the color of meat. When exposed to air, myoglobin forms the pigment, oxymyoglobin, which gives meat a pleasingly cherry-red color. The use of a plastic wrap that allows oxygen to pass through it helps ensure that the cut meats will retain this bright red color. However, exposure to store lighting as well as the continued contact of myoglobin and oxymyoglobin with oxygen leads to the formation of metmyoglobin, a pigment that turns meat brownish-red. This color change alone does not mean the product is spoiled (see explanation in question 2).

6. Why is pre-packaged ground beef red on the outside and sometimes grayish-brown on the inside?
These color differences do not indicate that the meat is spoiled or old. As discussed earlier, fresh cut meat is purplish in color. Oxygen from the air reacts with meat pigments to form a bright red color which is usually seen on the surface of ground beef purchased in the supermarket. The interior of the meat may be grayish-brown due to the lack of oxygen penetrating below the surface.

7. A beef roast has darkened in the refrigerator, is it safe?
Yes, it is safe. The darkening is due to oxidation, the chemical changes in myoglobin due to the oxygen content. This is a normal change during refrigerator storage.

8. Can cooked ground beef still be pink inside?
Yes, ground beef can be pink inside after it is safely cooked. The pink color can be due to a reaction between the oven heat and myoglobin, which causes a red or pink color. It can also occur when vegetables containing nitrites are cooked along with the meat. Because doneness and safety cannot be judged by color, it is very important to use a food thermometer when cooking ground beef. To be sure all harmful bacteria are destroyed, cook raw ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

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6 mins ago, sbcbmx112 said:

I think this is pretty common as I've seen it plenty of times, something about oxidation of the exterior...  How long did you have it in the fridge?  If its was truly bad it would have a foul odor and be very slimy or sticky.

It was in our refrigerator for 6 hours.

But my question is, the hamburg came from the roast. The interior of the roast was that horrible color.  Yet the hamburg was bright red on the outside but that gross brown on the inside.  Wouldn't you think the hamburg would have been all brown as well,  given it was ground from that roast?

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19 mins ago, bob_G said:

It was in our refrigerator for 6 hours.

But my question is, the hamburg came from the roast. The interior of the roast was that horrible color.  Yet the hamburg was bright red on the outside but that gross brown on the inside.  Wouldn't you think the hamburg would have been all brown as well,  given it was ground from that roast?

Ahhh I follow you now.  Very interesting question indeed

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19 mins ago, bob_G said:

It was in our refrigerator for 6 hours.

But my question is, the hamburg came from the roast. The interior of the roast was that horrible color.  Yet the hamburg was bright red on the outside but that gross brown on the inside.  Wouldn't you think the hamburg would have been all brown as well,  given it was ground from that roast?

First thing is that you need to re-educate yourself on what those 'horrible color" and "gross color" actually are vs the 'bright red' that you're apparently thinking is fantastic because you've got it wrong.

 

Second is that you should go back and re-read the information provided to you:

6. Why is pre-packaged ground beef red on the outside and sometimes grayish-brown on the inside?
These color differences do not indicate that the meat is spoiled or old. As discussed earlier, fresh cut meat is purplish in color. Oxygen from the air reacts with meat pigments to form a bright red color which is usually seen on the surface of ground beef purchased in the supermarket. The interior of the meat may be grayish-brown due to the lack of oxygen penetrating below the surface.

 

 

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Ok I read this and it makes sense to some degree but  I dont buy it.  This is just my opinion....Sometimes chops are red on top in the store and turn them over and they are grey on bottom but not all way through.   First I would think air exposure not the lack of would turn it grey.   I'm not a butcher but  I process my own venison  (like many of you do I am sure) and never had that happen to my meat.  Even making sausage I dont remember seeing the meat discoloration like that unless its prolonged exposed to air during the mixing but it is usually covered airtight while   we work and maintains its redness  ....Marinate or defrost a roast in the fridge overnight in a sealed airtight container and tell me its grey in the middle is normal?    If you bought a roast and it turned grey in the middle  that quick then my first suspect is it's old and turned quick and to smell it before returning it but return it either way.   I was always taught grey meat is bad.   I do know sometimes chop meat is grayer in the middle and red on the outside and if we suspect it's old we usually return it. Small pieces of grey I tolerate as i deem it to be air exposure and the dyes they use but not the entire thing. (The fda article explains this but I cant fathom it's toally true)

 

Personally I think they muck with so many dyes and chemicals in our meat that they are just covering their butts and using the "cook it to 160 " to be safe to compensate for the reaction of those dyes.

 

Either way trust your nose and if it feels slimy chuck the roast (ha ha pun intended)

 

Any butchers in the house to weigh in on the subject?

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Folks, since there were two threads on this subject, I merged them. The link from the other one will go away in 24 hours, and it will all be here after that.

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