In a new Meat Mythcrushers series video released last week, the American Meat Institute and the American Meat Science Association feature comments from Davey Griffin, Ph.D., professor & extension meat specialist at Texas A&M University, discussing the safety of ground beef made from beef trimmings from multiple different beef carcasses.
In the video, Griffin notes that much like apple sauce or orange juice is made of fruits from multiple trees, it is normal for ground beef to be made from multiple beef carcasses.
He says producing ground beef from multiple animals increases efficiency, makes all beef products more affordable and allows processors to offer a greater variety of steaks and roasts while using pieces that are trimmed away from those cuts in ground beef.
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"We do sell a lot of ground beef so we can take the different parts that are not usable as part of the steaks or roasts and make a really good product that fits consumer needs by using different animals and putting all those pieces together in blends like 90% or 80% lean," says Dr. Griffin.
"We treat all of the animals the same as they go through the facility," Dr. Griffin says. "USDA inspects every one for safety and wholesomeness so when we combine meat from those different animals, essentially we're combining animals that were treated the same to start with so there are no differences."
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AMI also points out that a single, whole muscle cut like a chuck roast can also be ground into a safe ground beef product. The mere fact that ground meat from inspected trimmings comes from smaller pieces and the other comes from larger pieces, however, does not impact food safety or quality of the ground beef, AMI said.
The latest video in the Meat MythCrusher video series, " Myth: It’s Unnatural for Ground Beef to be Made of Meat From More Than One Animal," seeks to bust some of the most common myths surrounding meat and poultry production, processing, safety and nutrition.
The entire series is now in its fourth year and includes more than 30 videos which have been viewed more than 50,000 times. Other video topics include myths surrounding meat and poultry nutrition, "Superbugs" in meat, Meatless Monday, hormone use in animals for meat, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef, processed meats and more.