Buying ground beef from the store is a pretty easy process. Simple go to the store, find the meat section, select the package labeled “ground beef”, and then head on home and cook that bad boy up. However, even though this is an easy process, you probably don’t realize that you’re buying more than just beef. In fact, what you’re buying is quite the mystery itself. Do you really like mystery beef? Most people seem to be fine with it considering that’s what most of the conveniently packaged ground beef packages are.
The Beef with Ground Beef
The biggest issue with ground beef is the contamination problem in the beef supply in general, according to Urvashi Rangan, chief scientific adviser at Grace Communications Foundation in New York City.
During his previous research as an executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center, found a higher risk for foodborne pathogens such as salmonella and E.coli in conventional beef as opposed to grass-fed, sustainably raised beef.
Ground beef is problematic in general because the moment you begin to cut into it and begin processing is when you start to introduce contamination or cross-contamination if bacteria is already present, according to Rangan. Other factors that do not ease anxiety surrounding buying ground beef is that according to the 2015 Consumer Reports: there are usually two or more stages in the grinding process, and the end product is typically a mixture of trimmings of many cows, possibly from other countries.