Sometimes high levels of germs in minced meat from the counter in the supermarket
The NDR consumer magazine "Markt" carried out a sample in six different supermarket chains. The laboratory showed that every second minced meat purchased was contaminated with germs. Food experts even found dangerous salmonella in one sample.
NDR magazine tested ground beef in six different supermarkets in northern Germany. The result: Every second minced meat was contaminated with germs. Minced meat is one of the most sensitive foods because it is often freshly processed. If the meat is contaminated with pathogens, this can have serious health consequences for the consumer.
Good conditions for germs and pathogens
If the meat is rotated by a meat grinder, the surface of the meat increases greatly. Compared to a normal piece of meat that has not been spun, bacteria and pathogens find the best conditions on the surface of the minced meat to multiply. In addition, in most cases, minced meat is made from different pieces of meat. Only a piece of meat has to be contaminated with bacteria or viruses and an entire batch is already contaminated because the germs multiply in no time.
In the supermarket, customers can choose between minced meat that is sold at the counter or shrink-wrapped minced meat from the refrigerated section. After a few scandals on the labeling, many consumers consider the meat on the shelf to be "less fresh". For this reason, many tend to buy minced meat at the meat counter. However, as the small study showed, buying fresh is not a guarantee for non-contaminated meat.
Partly worrying results
The editors therefore examined the meat from the counter. They bought the meat products in the markets of Rewe, Toom, Edeka, Real and Sky. Retaining the cold chain, the samples were brought to the experts at the Institute for Food and Environmental Analysis. There, the “hack” was examined for germs and bacteria in the laboratory. According to the magazine, the "subsequent results were worrying".
"Worst of all was the Toom minced meat in our sample," the authors report. Not only was the bacterial count highest, the laboratory also found salmonella. "These pathogens are particularly dangerous for health", as the microbiologist and infection epidemiologist Prof. Dr. Hinrik von Wulffen explained. “Similar to other diarrhea pathogens, salmonella primarily causes diarrhea, often accompanied by fever. And vomiting can also occur. They can also get into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane, so that in isolated cases they can lead to blood poisoning. ”
Salmonella can multiply relatively quickly, especially in minced meat. In humans, a Salmonella infection (also called Salmonellosis) causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. If there is an additional fever, this is an indication of a severe course of the disease. Due to a massive loss of fluid and a drastic decrease in weight, further complications are imminent. Then hospitalization is usually unavoidable.
Poor hygiene as a cause?
According to the expert, the find could indicate inadequate hygiene or non-compliance with the cold chain. So-called risk groups with a weaker immune system, such as small children, pregnant women, the sick or the elderly, are particularly at risk. The groups of people mentioned can even die from salmonella poisoning, as has often happened in old people's homes.
However, three samples were also harmless. The guidelines were not exceeded in minced meat samples from Edeka, Real and a butcher shop. No salmonella could be found either.
It is best to always fry well
It is a problem for consumers to recognize germs in minced meat. If the meat already smells or there are clearly dark spots, the food should never be used again. Basically, consumers are on the safe side if they do not eat the meat raw. Most pathogens and bacteria die at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius. If you fry meatballs, you should do a test test beforehand. The inside of the meat should no longer be reddish but dark. If the flesh is still pink, the germs can continue to spread undiminished. If the meat is heavily contaminated, health problems can also arise. If you still do not want to do without raw minced meat, you should process and consume the mince on the same day after purchase. "Small children, pregnant women, seniors and immunocompromised people should, however, generally avoid raw meat." The program "Markt" will be broadcast on NDR television today at 8:15 p.m. (sb)
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