Burgers from festival foods

We know you count on Festival Foods for great-tasting Festy Burgers and quality offerings in our Meat Department.

We sometimes get questions from our guests who pick up a package of fresh ground beef from their local Festival Foods store. When opened, they find the middle is a different color than the meat on the outside. While the outside looks pink, the inside appears brown or even grayish. And they think: Is this meat bad?

Nope! It’s perfectly normal.

There’s even a name for it: myoglobin, which is a protein responsible for the red coloring on the outside of the ground meat.

When meat — or even poultry — is packaged, the meat on the outside is exposed to more oxygen. That’s why meat turns a bright red color on the outside while the inside remains brown.

When myoglobin is mixed with oxygen it becomes oxymyoglobin, or more commonly known as ‘blooming.’ It produces a bright red color everyone is so accustomed to seeing in our amazing Meat Department. If the inside of the meat was exposed for the same period of time, it also would be that bright.

We sometimes get questions from guests who want to know about why meat sometimes looks purple. That’s easy to explain too!


The USDA uses a purple dye stamp on all cuts of meat to grade it properly and as a sign of inspection. This purple stamp is composed of a food-grade vegetable dye totally safe for human consumption. And don’t need to be alarmed if your cut of meat doesn’t have the stamp because it all depends on how the meat was cut and packaged.