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Post Info TOPIC: Ground Beef 2


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Ground Beef 2


smile or disbelief

so you make fresh ground beef, sometimes it's too much sometimes not enough. I have a great sausage maker who watches it closely, but there are still days when the ground beef doesn't move so well.

what is your system for tracking ground beef, how much to make, any advice?



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Matt the Meat Man


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RE: Ground Beef 2


Matt do ya"ll make 1 pound packages too are do ya"ll make only big value packs.

 



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john m.groot


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RE: Ground Beef 2


When I was in the business (1968-1995) we produced 80% lean in a 1 boat and varied the weight from .75 to 1.25 lbs, 4D boats from 2.5 to 3.25 lbs, and a very few 5lb packs that were 4.5 to 5.5 lbs. We produced 85% lean in 2Ds that varied from 1.75 to 2.25 lbs, and we produced 90% lean ground sirloin made from peeled knuckles that varied from 0.75 to 1.25 lbs in 17S boats. We were required to fat test every batch and log the fat content. We were required to mark it down after 2 hours and throw it out after 4 hours so we controlled production closely. Failure to fat test, failure to throw it out after 4 hours , and or regrinding old stuff in a new batch were all grounds for immediate termination even in a union environment. We were also required to completely break down and sanitize the grinder and blender after every grind.  This was all tough but ensured we produced a top quality product.

Did everyone else do it this way?



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Wow Jimmy that's over the top!!!

Were you in a state inspected store?



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RE: Ground Beef 2


We rarely if ever saw state inspectors. These were company policies and our company sanitarian was a nationally known and respected microbiologist.  The states knew they did not have to worry about Pathmarks. In fact when he scheduled classes to teach perishable department heads food handling and sanitation, the PA Dept of Agriculture would let us use their facilities at no charge in return for letting the Department of Agriculture inspectors sit in on his classes.

He had such influence that I have seen him have a plant shut down with a single phone call when he found something not right with what they sent us.

My meat dept. was probably cleaner than an operating room and still did $80,000 to $100,000 per week in fresh meat sales which does not count seafood, lunchmeat, hot dogs, canned hams, etc.



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


@Jimhenry. Boy I hope you had plenty of help back then! Jeez, that's alot of work.

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Every Place I have worked has required a full and complete breakdown after every cycle of grind. Finish the morning grind, break it down, afternoon grind, break it down, early evening grind, break it down

Back to your question Matt.
I have always believed if you give a consistent, great product you will do big numbers.
With that said, when it comes to ground beef do several, small grinds all day long
Even where I am, I cryrovac my meat and get a 5 day shelf life on ground beef, I do small batches
No more then 50-100lbs at a time
We do 1 pound, 2 pound and 3 pound packages.
3 pounders being the most popular for the most part

it is always easier to make more then to find room in garbage for your overages


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Joe Parajecki

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Masteryeti, We certainly did not have ENOUGH help, but I stressed with my crew that you could not get fired for an empty meat case but you could get fired for violating company policy, so we did as much as we could do RIGHT, not as much as we could do.



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Big Beef,

 Ironicly when I started in the business, for a small chain of gourmet shops with a reputation for the best meat, quite the opposite was true. We only cleaned the grinder/blender once a week!  Not so at the big chain I went to, Pathmark.



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


thanks guys for the comments, really good stuff.

wow Jimmy, that is really over-the-top! hats off to you for having to do that. My dept has the reputation of the best meat in town, not always the cheapest in price but the best in quality.
I am the only store (so far) that keeps the overall quality very fresh (no darkened or slimy meats, no meats turning color).

We grind inspected once ground tubes, as is becoming the standard here, and we also have table trim. Eventually we will move to a zero table trim policy, I am not sure what the company will want to do
with the excess but I hope they don't decide to throw perfectly good trim in the garbage, maybe sausage making instead.

smalled batches of grinds keeps it fresher for the customer for sure, I wish we were allowed to cryovac our fresh burger,beef,and pork for a better shelf life


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Matt the Meat Man


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RE: Ground Beef 2


Matt, 

  We used both coarse ground (30 to 100 boxes per week dependiing on the price) and table trim.  What is the reasoning behind using your trim in your grinds?  Is it to better control fat content?  We covered that by fat testing every batch.



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Looks like youve got an old coffin case in that pic above- they do display the product well
jim, who did you work for? the meat sanitation-nazi's? two hours to sell a batch of burger and then reduce it? sounds like an overkill to me- like a zero tolerance plan after the company had a lawsuit?? and this was before 1995?
dont get me wrong, Im a sanitation nut-but damn, just seems like an overkill
thats like leaving a store made sandwich out for 10 minutes-if it doesnt sell, throw it out and make another one

lol, quite the opposite of what you were stating in the old stores-on the re-working -

as for tracking ground beef-you can keep daily records for quantity accuracies-
most stores will reduce after a day, and grind fresh-although I know a few very successful stores that put two days on burger.
I believe alot of this -is educating the customer on why burger turns dark in the middle-its deprived of oxygen and reverts back to original color (not bloomed) also-have systems in place if the burger doesnt sell-reduce, or make meatballs/meatloaf and sell cooked-dont laugh many stores make ten of thousands of dollars in the course of a year doing this

I was meat manager for many yrs in a chain store-we pushed tube burger-just the way it was

today, I much prefer bench trimmings- think you get a meatier flavor-and did you ever check out to see if grass fed cows get in the mix of tube burger- and presently-the whole industry is getting a black eye on the pink slime b.s. that can be found in tube burger -but not in bench trimmings
some chain stores are getting hammered on this and will lose sales-while the stores with bench trimmings will pick up sales




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Maine,

   No doubt it made my job tougher but you know what? It also made me a much smarter and overall sharpe operator to have to control production that closely. The main purpose behnd our sanitation policies was to preven e.coli and other food borne illnesses and to maximize freshness.  The strict policies were across the board, not just for ground beef.  We carried the same chill pack chicken products as our main competitors, but where they specified it come in with a 13 day sell-by date, our spec was 6 days, and we had to sell it or reduce it by that date or throw it out the day after it expired.  Here again the goal was freshness, at least a week's freshness in the consumer's refrigerator AFTER the sell-by expired. 

Our sanitarian was so knowledgeable and widely respected that I came around and became a supporter of these policies.

If you recall that investigative report on 48 hours or a similar show back in the 80s, where they went undercover at a Food Town market (they changed their name to Food Lion after that show and all its repercussions) that had something to do with all our strict policies.  also we were constantly informed whenever a company got someone sick and how it put them out of business, and how we would also be held PERSONALLY LIABLE if it happened at our store..



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Jim little me wasn't around in 80 but I have heard meat cutters years ago talk about a expose on TV about a Food Lion Store down South, something about spitting ,jacking off in the hamburger, Is that the one you talking about?



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RE: Ground Beef 2


KY Lady,

  I'm sure that is the one, but the occurrences you describe are an exaggeration. I saw the program and it showed meat depts being cleaned with only a hot wanter hose, no germicide or sanitizer rinse, or cleaning skipped entirely dut to not enough help and being too busy. It also showed taking expired chicken and soaking it in salt water to make it "fresh" again, and regrinding yesterday's ground beef into a fresh batch.  All of these are very bad and should never be done but nothing like you were told. It nearly put Food Lion out of business.

BTW the previous name might have been Food King if not Food Town, I'm just not sure any more.



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


From Jim: What is the reasoning behind using your trim in your grinds? Is it to better control fat content? We covered that by fat testing every batch.

we mainly use the table trim for lean ground warehouse packs, fresh in-store made patties and sausage making. The fat content is only an issue once in awhile when the tubes are supposed
to be an 86% lean/14% fat mix and they look like regular ground instead 70% lean/30% fat. how did you fat test the batches? years ago when I worked as a cutter at an IGA we had our ground beef sent away
to be tested and sometimes it would come back just fine and other times it would come back too lean or too fatty.

Quality is key for sure, I am very interested in cooking some marinated pork side or back ribs in the smokehouse now mmmmmm!

Happy Easter 2012 everyone! I'm glad all the turkey and ham orders are done for another season!

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Matt the Meat Man


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RE: Ground Beef 2


Matt,

 All of our meat depts had a fat tester and we were required by company policy to fat test every batch and log the results. Failure to do so and getting caught could cost one of my cutters his job. We had no worries about inspections by state or municipality because they knew our company policies were so tight.   As Cheif Journeyman I was both Meat Manager and a union  member, so I would not fire a cutter, but I did see that they followed policy and understood why they needed to do so.

In one respect this is one of the advantages of a union shop. My men knew they could get terminated for not following policy but not for an empty meat case, so they followed policy.  Being non-union was in my opinion one of the causes of Food Lion's problems on that expose` show. People were pressured to get everything done and would skip things like sanitation that normally would not show.  Sanitation or fat testing would not be skipped in our stores unless the store manager wrote the instruction in the cutters log and signed it (and they never would). Other wise the cutter followed company policy to the letter!  I can't believe I am sounding pro-union here because typically I am not, but these are facts.

Back to fat testing. the tester was a little box with heating element that cooked up a pre-measured sample of ground beef and drained the juices and fat into a test tube. The fat would rise to the top and it had a caliber guage to measure it whcih gave you the reading.

Jim



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Jimmy the Butcher jhenry@airpower.com

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RE: Ground Beef 2


Jim

that is excellent, some policies are there for a reason for sure. good thing you set the right example for your staff and followed the C.Y.A. policy (cover your ass)

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Matt the Meat Man


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RE: Ground Beef 2


I am a rookie and I have yet to learn all the rule but it seems to me that using the grind with table-trim for in-store production of sausage (50% to 35% fat with USDA approved seasoning-mixes) is not out of the question.... in theory. Correct me if I am wrong.

I could spoiled. Here, we run two-smokers for making cooked product.

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RE: Ground Beef 2


After 18 hrs we put our grinds into small tubes and freeze it. It goes out into the coffin freezer after a fast freeze and is sold for a dollar cheaper than fresh. As long as you watch your production your inventory of frozen tubes will not get out of hand. As for the tubes as a late many of our locations have failed their grind test and it was traced back to the once ground tubes directly from the supplier ( big 2 companys you know who they are) They insist that their product passed their tests but when our tubes fail the test and our trim ground beef has a better count than the tubes I think that something is to be said for trim being used for grinds. More control and a safer product.

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