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Ground beef

I just saw a package of 80/20 ground beef at Kroger. The label says it has "added flavorings" in it. What kind of added flavorings can they add to ground beef? Not a single "butcher" could tell me what it is. They did say that there was no "pink slime" in it, though.

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  1. Eeew. I have no answers for you but want to join this post to find out what people awswer. Thanks.

    1. My guess would be beef broth.

      1. Wonder if that's some kind of chemical like sodium nitrate. I personally wouldn't buy it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Tudor_rose

          Wouldn't be nitrate...no flavor to that.

          1. re: sal_acid

            I've actually heard people use it and call it a "flavoring."

        2. Kroger might *state* that they're not using pink slime, but a post on Facebook from March 13th of this year disputes that claim. Haven't seen it refuted yet:


          "Kroger is the nation's largest traditional grocer and they originally told ABC News that they did NOT use pink slime in their ground beef. Within a few days, they were responding to facebook inquiries with a non-answer, lawyer rhetoric that basically claimed all their beef was USDA approved and met federal guidelines. They've since admitted that they DO use pink slime in their products and are advising which products you should buy if you choose to avoid it. They refuse to make a public statement on their front wall. Please consider leaving them a comment on this issue and pressure them to make changes! We have a retailer on the defensive, but we need to get loud and fight them NOW before the story dies down again.

          “We do not use finely textured beef in our fresh ground beef. … We are routinely presented the finely textured beef as an option, but have always refused.” -- Kroger response to ABC News

          "The ground beef you find at your local Kroger has been purchased from USDA-approved suppliers who are required to follow all federal guidelines during the production of ground beef to ensure food safety and quality." -- Kroger facebook response given until yesterday.

          "Kroger carries ground beef both with and without lean finely textured beef. For customers who choose to avoid it, we offer a variety of options including Kroger’s Private Selection Angus Ground Chuck, Round and Sirloin; Private Selection All Natural Ground Beef and Private Selection Organic Ground Beef solid in 1 lb. packages, labeled 80% lean and above; Laura’s Lean Ground Beef; and ground beef prepared in store. All ground beef you find at your local Kroger is USDA-regulated, inspected and approved for food safety and quality. That includes beef products made with lean finely textured beef." -- New Kroger facebook response being posted as of 3/12/12."

          And someone also posted in March the following: " Kroger customers were also complaining a while back about Kroger adding "flavorings" to their ground beef. I guess we know now why they have to "flavor" it. It's not really beef at all -- it's finely mashed connective tissues washed in ammonia with beef "flavorings" added."

          In addition, some other links about the "added flavorings":


          So I guess it depends on which type of ground beef you purchased.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LindaWhit

            A friend in the business told me ground beef is also being imported.I don't know if he was talking about a finished product, coarse ground which is then mixed and ground again or meat scraps for grinding. I will have to ask next time I see him. Either way, I was finished with supermarket beef a long time ago,

          2. IMHO, If it was a high quality product, it would stand on its own and need nothing added.

            1. Meat shouldn't have ingredients. Try telling this to your standard meat stocker at your local grocery store. I sometimes feel like standing in the meat department with a sign telling people to stop buying "enhanced" meat "products" so that the stores will stop stocking it.


              2 Replies
              1. re: sandylc

                Yeah, they raise them lean and cheap then add liquid fat and other "all natural" ingredients to tenderize, moisten & add flavor. Would rather pay a little extra for the real thing.

                1. re: sandylc

                  "Meat shouldn't have ingredients." Yes! I would have this as a bumper sticker.

                2. Grind your own and have peace of mind.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rasputina

                    "Grind your own and have peace of mind"

                    And great flavor & the confidence to cook a med rare burger. So easy too.

                    1. re: Tom34

                      There is a chowhound video on how to make the right burger, and he doesn't even grind the meat. Instead, he cuts the chuck by hand. Very interesting.

                      1. re: Tudor_rose

                        Yeah I have seen that. For small batches I could see it. For me,its ever so slightly frozen meat strips from different parts of the animal, frozen beef fat, ice cold grinding head, 2 quick grinds and its still below 38 degrees when I am done. My family likes them med rare with lots of red juice so I keep the temps down from start to finish during the cutting & grinding. This may be a little a little extreme but so far so good.

                        Either way, the main thing is for people to try making their own. The right choice of meats & % fat and a run of the mill burger meal becomes a delicacy that we look forward to days in advance. My family loves them as much as a top choice aged steak.

                  2. I just saw a report on TV about how beef is transformed into ground beef. I am using transformed as a word here because once they get through with it, it has been transformed into something else. The meat is cleaned with a solution using some king of amonium solution and after seeing this I will not be eating ground beef unless I grind it myself. I'm done with it.

                    1. As far as I'm concerned, the ground beef sold at Kroger has changed. It has a "chewiness" to it that really turns me off, and reminds me of what you find in some brands of hot dogs.

                      The kind I bought was the ground round that was in those packages that look like they came out in one long strip that is pulled apart in 1 pound chunks. It was not the Laura's or the Angus, just the regular package. They are definitely adding something, because ground round should not be gristly in any way! I used to work in a grocery meat department years ago, and we ground all our offerings right in the store back then, using the beef from the various parts: round, sirloin, chuck. separately. The machine was meticulously washed after the grinding, and used to grind other things as well, such as veal or poultry. Sometimes people would pick out a piece of meat from the case, and ask us to grind it for them, which we did as long as we didn't have something else incompatible going through at the time (beef vs. poultry, for example). The customer paid the price on the original package they brought to us...we just wrapped over it.

                      I guess if too many of us ask for this service, they will either get the message and stop stocking this gristly stuff, or they will decide to charge us for the service. Either way, we'll know what we are eating.

                      1. A butcher at Kroger recently told me that they add blood to ground beef to make it look red. That, he said, is the natural flavoring. I agree that it would add flavor and that blood is natural, but I am grossed out by that idea.

                        Not to mention, for those following strict kosher and/or halal rulse need to know about blood in their meat.