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Ground Meat

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Ground beef in industrial grinder

Ground meat is meat finely chopped by a meat grinder. It is called mince or mince(d) meat outside North America.

A common type of ground meat is ground beef, but many other meats are prepared ground in a similar fashion, including pork, lamb, chicken, and turkey. In South Asia both lamb (mutton) and goat meat are also minced to produce keema, though the process of mincing is manual. Turkey burgers are relatively popular in the US, especially among dieters.

Food safety

Ground beef and other ground meats have food safety issues not associated with whole cuts of meat. If undercooked, it can lead to sickness and food poisoning. In a whole cut from an animal, the interior of the meat is essentially sterile, even before cooking; any bacterial contamination is on the outer surface of the meat. When meat is ground, bacterial contamination from the surface can be distributed throughout the meat. If ground beef is not well cooked all the way to the center, there is a significant chance that enough pathogenic bacteria will survive to cause illness[1][2]. Undercooked Jack in the Box hamburgers contaminated in this manner were responsible for four deaths and the illness of hundreds of people in 1993.[3]

Due to these concerns, some ground beef is now irradiated.

See also

Mincemeat - a mixture of dried fruit and spices, commonly does not contain any meat.

References

^ Committee on the Review of the USDA E. coli O157:H7, ``Farm-to-Table Process Risk Assessment``, Slaughter Module in Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Ground Beef: Review of a Draft Risk Assessment, 2002, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC. ^ Honikel, K. O., ``Minced Meats``, in Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences, Jensen, W. K., et al., eds., 2004, Elsevier, New York. ^ Case Study: Jack in the Box E. coli crisis Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Minced meat