There is No Horse Meat in Ground Beef

In some countries around the world, horse meat may be considered a delicacy. If you are concerned that horse meat may be in your meat, rest assured there is no horse meat in your beef.

In the United States, strict oversight and labeling laws ensure all ground beef sold is 100% beef. With a number of safeguards in place, the ground beef you know and love, does not contain meat from other animals.

A food safety expert discusses beef safety and quality in a processing plant

All U.S. beef is inspected and complies with labeling laws

Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) must be present at each federally-inspected plant throughout the country to ensure proper food safety and strict labeling requirements.

Additionally, countries that export beef to the U.S. are required to follow equivalent meat inspection programs and comply with labeling laws and it is illegal to import horse meat into the U.S. for human consumption. All of these policies are in place to ensure a safe beef supply. The Food Safety and Inspection Service has even enhanced safeguards by species testing meats to prevent fraudulently labeled products from entering the country.

You can be confident that strict oversight and labeling laws prevent any other type of meat from entering the beef supply. The bottom line is, your beef is 100% beef!

Myth Busted: Is There Meat From 100 Cows in My Hamburger?

Myth:  Beef from 100 cows is in my ground beef patty, which makes it less safe for me to consume.

The Facts:    All ground beef trim must meet stringent food safety guidelines set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), therefore the number of cows whose lean trim is used doesn’t represent the safety of your food.

Ground beef, commonly used in hamburgers and tacos, is made from beef trim that results when steaks and roasts are cut. In order to get the right mix of lean to fat processors combine trim from a number of different animals. For example, a majority of the trim from grain-finished beef cattle in the U.S. has higher fat content than trim from dairy cows or cattle from countries with grass-finished production systems, such as Australia and New Zealand. Trim from these animals is combined to create ground beef in a variety of lean to fat ratios, such as 80/20 or 90/10, to meet consumer demand. When it comes to safety, all of the trim, regardless of the source, must meet USDA safety and inspection standards and go through intervention processes to prevent contamination.

Our food system comprises various sources. A carton of milk contains milk from a number of different cows. A glass of orange juice contains juice from a number of different oranges and a loaf of bread contains wheat from many different acres of a wheat field. However, the USDA food safety procedures that our food supply undergoes, including ground beef, help prevent any harm to consumers and you can be confident in the safety of your ground beef.

Consumers also play an important role in food safety. Make sure you’re preparing ground beef and preventing potential foodborne illness by:

  • Properly refrigerate beef until time of preparation
  • Prepare beef on a clean work surface
  • Follow guidelines on beef cooking temperatures and test the internal temperature of beef as it cooks. Safe and savory ground beef should be cooked to 160 F, measured with an instant read meat thermometer. Color and juices are not an accurate way to determine doneness.
  • Store and refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container

Investment in Safety Means Beef is Safer From E.Coli

Myth:  Recent E. coli recalls of beef means beef is less safe today than it used to be.

News about recalls of beef because of E. coli may cause concern that beef is not as safe today as it once was. In reality, improvements by the beef community mean that beef is safer today and chance of foodborne illness related to beef has decreased.

The Facts: The safety of the U.S. beef supply continues to improve due to the commitment of the beef community and oversight from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The beef community has a long-standing commitment to providing the public with the safest beef possible – a pledge that is backed by research, best practices and public education.

Here are some answers to common questions about recalls of beef due to E. coli: [Read more…]

Pink slime in ground beef? Not so. It’s 100% USDA inspected beef.

Inaccurately-termed pink slime in ground beef is lean finely textured beef. It looks no different than 90% lean/10% fat ground beef.

Myth: Pink slime in ground beef isn’t real meat

Reports have inaccurately used the term pink slime in ground beef, for what is accurately known as lean finely textured beef (LFTB) or finely textured beef (FTB). These reports also claim it is not real beef, but rather filler made from scraps from the slaughterhouse floor that contain ammonia. Get the real story behind lean finely textured beef.

The Facts: Pink slime in ground beef is a misnomer…get the facts on LFTB [Read more…]

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