How fresh is your ground beef?

Did you know that many supermarket companies are now selling ground beef that comes in pre-packaged, gas flushed bags?  These gas flushed bags are opened at the store level and the product is then removed and given a shelf life set by the particular grocery store. The meat that you are buying may have been initially ground over two weeks ago! I wouldn't exactly call that fresh. Some other stores sell ground beef that comes packaged in a M.A.P. (modified atmoshere packaging). This is similar to the beef that arrives in the gas flushed bags. The oxygen is removed from the package and other gasses are added to prolong the shelf life. Learn more about MAP here. Consumers have been purchasing meats in this type of packaging for many years, mainly ground turkey, ground pork, and ground chicken. These other meats are usually ground elsewhere because of the possibilty of cross contamination. Ground pork and ground poultry products require a higher cooking temperature than beef. If these were to get mixed into a batch of ground beef that wasn't cooked properly people could become ill, which is the reason these other meats are not ground fresh in your supermarket. But why are grocery stores no longer grinding fresh beef at the store level?  My advice is to check with local supermarkets in your area to find out which ones still make fresh ground beef on a daily basis. If your grocery store does not sell freshly ground beef ask them if they do custom grinds per request. Look for lean steaks or roasts at sale prices, ask to have them freshly ground, and save money in the process. Steaks from the round, sirloin, and chuck cuts of beef go on sale often and make excellent lean ground beef. Taste the difference between the beef that was freshly ground and the beef that has been in it's packaging for two weeks.
Freshly ground beef chuck

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