Nasty practices, revealed

Greetings Carnivores,

Recently, there was a CBC Marketplace episode that dealt with shady practices at retail stores in the Bakery and Meat departments.

If you saw the show you were probably aghast at the things they uncovered.

Having grown up in the meat business, I CAN tell you that I have seen my fair share of sketchy things in the past.

I CAN however, help you with a little bit of knowledge.

Ideally, the store wants to sell everything the day it’s produced so that a fresh counter is cut every day.  This is great in a perfect world but sadly in the case of big retailers, this is not always possible … there will ALWAYS be carry over from the day before or, maybe even the day before that. This however, does NOT indicate it’s no longer sale-able.

Common practices dictate that fresh product is labeled with the day it was produced. This can then be displayed for 3 days, after which it’s pulled and either destroyed or mixed with daily trimmings and re-purposed as ground meat.

If this is bothersome to you then you can avoid this re-purposed meat, by buying your ground beef later in the day since all the re-wrapping is done first thing in the morning.

I should say however, that I personally have NO QUALMS WHATSOEVER about buying this since it’s more often than not yesterdays VERY lean roasts, steaks and stew that’s being ground. Ground steaks, roasts and stew for lean ground beef price … I’ll buy that all day long.

Watch your labels.

If it says “Best before … blah, blah blah” this is only a guideline to peak freshness, and not the date that it’s instantly garbage. Quite often retailers will reduce the price of items that are one day away from their peak freshness as per the BB date to try to get them out the door … I will buy them every time and stick them in the freezer.

Ground beef.

I wrote about ground beef again a few weeks ago (here) so, no need to touch on that again.

When making your meat (or anything fresh really) purchases, I always dig to the bottom and back of the counter … that’s where you find the freshest product.

I NEVER, let me repeat NEVER buy pre-marinated meat, fish or poultry. These are almost ALWAYS made from one or two day old (or more) products that have become a dark and lost their fresh cut look.

Shish-ka-bobs are a way of re-purposing old meat … seasoned fish (Cajun or lemon peppered catfish comes to mind) and BBQ spiced poultry or pepper-corned steak … all methods of re-purposing old product … and here’s the REAL KICKER … it’s sold at a HIGHER price because it’s now considered “Value added”.  Crazy huh???

As far as dipping old, brown meat in fresh beef blood or even dye, to make it “red” again … I can HONESTLY say, I have never seen that done. Maybe some old timers did it. You never know … they were probably very good at placing their thumbs on the scale, if you know what I mean …

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Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook