What are meat and cheese made of?

What is actually meant by meat?

The term "meat" means all parts of slaughtered or hunted warm-blooded animals intended for human consumption. Warm-blooded animals include all mammals that are kept for meat production, i.e. cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, etc., slaughter poultry such as chicken, turkey or goose, as well as game animals (wild boar, deer) and game birds (e.g. pheasant). The muscle meat, blood, innards, intestines, bones, rind and fat are used. It also includes processed products such as minced meat, sausage products, meat extract or goulash. This refers to the actual muscle meat with and without bones, fat and connective tissue.

The quality depends on many factors, above all on the species and breed, age and sex of the animals, on the castration of male animals, but also on the type of feed used, the nutritional status of the animals, their mobility and the stress during transport or slaughter . In addition, there is the necessary meat maturation, which takes between two days and four weeks, depending on the species and purpose of the cut. During the ripening process, the meat becomes more tender and tasty, and the pH value drops. It is sold as pieces of meat, partly ready for kitchen or pan, as well as minced meat.

Formed meat is understood to be pieces of meat that are joined together to form a larger unit. In order to avoid confusion with higher-priced, grown meat, molded meat products must be clearly labeled - for example "molded meat roulade, made from pieces of meat".

Minced meat

Minced meat (minced meat, minced meat, minced meat, minced meat) is finely chopped raw meat. The most common options are pork or ground beef, or a mixture of both. Minced meat can be made from meat from all animal species. Due to the greatly enlarged surface, it is very perishable and has to be sold on the day of manufacture. Exceptions to this apply to minced meat that is manufactured in companies with special EU approval and sold packaged ("EU minced meat"): These products can have consumption periods of around five to nine days. Minced poultry may only be offered in prepackaged and must include the notice "Heat through before consumption!" wear.

When shopping, make sure to transport the minced meat home immediately. It is ideal - especially at high outside temperatures - to use a cool box, but at least an insulating bag.

The minced meat must be processed further on the day it is bought, that is: thoroughly heated. Attention: For "EU minced meat" with a longer shelf life, the use-by date is only valid for continuous storage at a maximum of +2 ┬░ C. If the cold chain was interrupted for a longer period of time when shopping or if the temperature in the refrigerator is higher at home, the shelf life will be shortened. Use this minced meat as soon as possible!

Eating minced meat raw cannot be recommended because it can never be ruled out with certainty that it is contaminated with pathogens (e.g. salmonella). This recommendation applies to both loosely dispensed and packaged minced meat. For risk groups such as pregnant women, immunocompromised, young children and the elderly, raw minced meat should be completely taboo. In rare cases, minced meat can already be spoiled on the day of shopping. Therefore, pay attention to a conspicuous or deviating smell before preparation! If in doubt, it is better to throw it away, because food poisoning can also occur even though the goods have been thoroughly heated.

Offal

Offal are the internal organs of animals for slaughter. Liver, kidneys, heart, brain, sweetbreads (calf thymus), lungs and tongue are offered, but not all of the animals. In addition, the spleen, udder and tripe (rumen and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract of cattle) are traditionally used in some regions.

Offal contain a lot of nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals (such as iron), but can also contain pollutants such as heavy metals. However, the pollution has decreased significantly in recent years. In contrast to the liver, kidney, etc. of farm animals, the innards of wild animals can be significantly contaminated; they should therefore be eaten no more than once or twice a month.

Pregnant women should not eat liver at all in the first trimester of pregnancy, as the high vitamin A content can damage the baby. The consumption of sheep liver is generally not advisable, as it is often heavily contaminated with dioxin.

Purines

The purine content of meat can have a disadvantageous effect. When purines are broken down, it arises uric acid. In some people, this cannot be excreted in sufficient quantities, so that the level in the blood increases and uric acid crystals are deposited in joints and tissues (gout). Painful inflammation and kidney damage can result. Those affected should not eat the purine-rich skin of poultry and generally avoid offal, as these have a particularly high purine content.

Meat products

Meat products are preparations that consist exclusively or predominantly of meat. Frequent treatments are through cooking, souring, drying, curing, smoking or combinations thereof. Typical examples are Kasseler, B├╝ndnerfleisch, raw and cooked ham, aspic, and bacon.

Sausages

Sausage products are sliceable or spreadable mixtures of minced meat, fatty tissue and partly offal with flavoring ingredients (spices, herbs, glutamate) and ingredients necessary for production, e.g. phosphate to bind water. The type of meat contained must be indicated on the packaging. For some years now, non-meat ingredients such as vegetable protein, vegetable fats, starch, egg, milk protein, mushrooms, nuts, cereals, fruit, vegetables or cheese have also been allowed. A distinction is made between raw sausage, cooked sausage and scalded sausage.

  • Raw sausage
    Raw sausage is made from minced raw meat and bacon, curing salt and spices. It is stuffed into intestines and then has to mature. Cut-resistant varieties are Cervelatwurst, air-dried Mettwurst, Salami or Kabanossi. Teewurst, Mettwurst or Braunschweiger Mettwurst are spreadable. Traditional cutable raw sausages contain between 25 and 35 percent fat, spreadable sausages between 30 and 40 percent.
  • Boiled sausage
    Boiled sausage is made by heating from mostly pre-cooked and minced meat (cured and uncured) as well as spices and possibly offal. Some varieties are also smoked. Only cold cooked sausage is cut-proof. The cooked sausages include the cooked sausages ("liver sausage"), blood sausages (black pudding, tongue sausage, red sausage) and the boiled sausages (boiled sausage, corned beef, pork head in jelly). The fat content is around 25-35 percent, for braised sausage around 5-10 percent.
  • Boiled sausage
    Boiled sausage is made from uncured (white sausage) or cured (Bockwurst) finely chopped raw meat, ice or drinking water, sometimes blood plasma or serum and auxiliary substances (phosphate). Boiled sausages are cut resistant. These include, for example, beer sausage, cooked salami, hunting sausage, mortadella, meat loaf, meat sausage, yellow sausage, white sausage, Viennese, Frankfurter, bockwurst. The fat content is between 10 and 30 percent.