February 22, 2018

Grinding chuck roast into ground beef patties and packages along with cutting and food sealing a pork loin

Just a peek into my day of restocking our deep freezer with ground beef, hamburger patties, pork roasts and pork chops!  I'm not a fan of ground beef and never have been, but I do eat the ground beef I grind myself.  I buy 2-pack roasts at the membership club and then grind them up individually into packages of ground beef and packages of 'hamburger' patties.  I then food seal them in my Weston Food Sealer and stock them in the freezer.

In January of 2016 I posted about this before and why I do this.  Not only do we love the FLAVOR of the meat we grind ourselves, but I know there are no FILLERS, nothing funky being put into our burger patties, and the ground beef and patties you purchase at the store not only have been touched by numerous hands but could have up to hundreds of different cuts of meat from different cows in the mixture.  When you grind a roast, you are getting one cut of beef from one cow.  Less likelihood of contamination.

If you are interested in what the government has to say about ground beef - this is from the FDA's website; (THIS is why I grind all our own ground beef items) - less chance of contamination and if you watch the government recall site for food items, ground beef is continuously on the list from all different brands and in all different styles.

What kind of bacteria can be in ground beef? Are they dangerous?
Bacteria are everywhere in our environment; virtually any food can harbor bacteria. In foods of animal origin, pathogenic (illness-causing) bacteria, such as Salmonella, Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STECs), Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus, cause illness. These harmful bacteria cannot be seen or smelled.

If the pathogens are present when meat is ground, then more of the meat surface is exposed to the harmful bacteria. Also, grinding allows any bacteria present on the surface to be mixed throughout the meat. Bacteria multiply rapidly in the "Danger Zone" — temperatures between 40 and 140 °F (4.4 and 60 °C). To keep bacterial levels low, store ground beef at 40 °F (4.4 °C) or below and use within 2 days, or freeze. To destroy harmful bacteria, cook ground beef to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C).

Other bacteria cause spoilage. Spoilage bacteria generally are not harmful, but they will cause food to deteriorate or lose quality by developing a bad odor or feeling sticky on the outside.

Why is the E. coli O157:H7 bacterium of special concern in ground beef? 
E. coli O157:H7 is the most well-known Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), though other STEC strains have also been identified. STECs produce large quantities of a potent toxin that forms in the intestine and causes severe damage to the lining of the intestine. This causes a disease called hemorrhagic colitis, and may also cause Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, particularly in young children. STECs can colonize in the intestines of animals, which could contaminate muscle meat at slaughter.

E. coli O157:H7 bacteria survive refrigerator and freezer temperatures. Once they get in food, they can multiply very slowly at temperatures as low as 44 °F (6.7 °C). While the actual infectious dose is unknown, most scientists believe it takes only a small number of this strain of E. coli to cause serious illness and even death, especially in children and older adults. The bacteria are killed by thorough cooking, which for ground beef is an internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C) as measured by a food thermometer.


I do not use expensive equipment!  I do not have the budget for anything fancy...  This is the meat grinder I use (and have used for a few years no - ZERO complaints!) - We got ours at Lowe's years ago but I don't think (?) they carry them anymore.  But you can order it through my Amazon link or search for one that is more suited for you and your family!


Weston Meat Grinder


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