Ground meat is meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...
Mincing is a food preparation technique in which food ingredients are finely divided. The effect is to create a closely bonded mixture of ingredients and a soft or pasty texture. Flavoring ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and fresh herbs may be minced to distribute flavor more evenly in a mixture...
by a meat grinder
A meat grinder or meat mincer is a kitchen appliance for grinding, fine mincing or mixing raw or cooked meat, fish, vegetables or similar food. It replaces tools like the mincing knife, for example, which has been used to produce minced meat, filling etc. The producer puts the minced food into a...
or a chopping knife. It is called minced meat or more usually mince outside North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...
A common type of ground meat is ground beef
Beef mince, ground beef, hamburger meat , hamburg or minced meat is a minced meat food, made of beef finely chopped by a mincer. It is used in many recipes including hamburgers and cottage pie...
, but many other meats are prepared ground in a similar fashion, including pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....
, lamb, and poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...
. In South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...
both lamb (mutton) and goat meat
Goat meat is the meat of the domestic goat . It is often called chevon or mutton when the meat comes from adults, and cabrito or kid when from young animals...
are also minced to produce keema
Keema, Kheema, or Qeema is a traditional Indian meat dish. Originally this word meant minced meat. It is typically minced mutton curry with peas or potatoes. Keema can be made from almost any meat, can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kababs...
, though the process of mincing is manual. Turkey burger
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat usually placed inside a sliced bread roll...
s are relatively popular in the US, especially among dieters.
Food safetyGround beef and other ground meats have food safety
Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards....
concerns not associated with whole cuts of meat. If undercooked, it can lead to sickness and food poisoning. In a whole cut from an animal, the interior of the meat is essentially sterile
Sterilization is a term referring to any process that eliminates or kills all forms of microbial life, including transmissible agents present on a surface, contained in a fluid, in medication, or in a compound such as biological culture media...
, even before cooking; any bacterial contamination is on the outer surface of the meat. When meat is ground, bacterial contamination from the surface can be distributed throughout the meat. If ground beef is not well cooked all the way to the center, there is a significant chance that enough pathogenic bacteria will survive to cause illness. Undercooked Jack in the Box hamburgers contaminated in this manner were responsible for four deaths and the illness of hundreds of people in 1993.
Due to these concerns, some ground beef is now irradiated
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation to destroy microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that might be present in the food. Further applications include sprout inhibition, delay of ripening, increase of juice yield, and improvement of re-hydration...