WASHINGTON – “Purge” is a combination of water and meat proteins that can drain from meat into packaging. But the problem with “purge” is that consumers often mistake it for blood. A new Meat MythCrusher video aims to explain what purge is all about.

The video features Gregg Rentfrow, Ph.D., an associate professor of meat science at the Univ. of Kentucky. Rentfrow explains that meat, which is typically 75 percent water, contains proteins that are like sponges holding the water. As meat ages and is handled or cut, the proteins lose their ability to hold onto water. Some water is released over time, and myoglobin, which contributes to the red color of meat, flows out with it, giving the liquid a red or pink color.

“It’s no big deal, there’s nothing wrong with a meat package that has some liquid in it,” Rentfrow said. “You should just make sure you handle everything in the package the same as you would raw meat to ensure food safety.”

Rentfrow also discusses why blood would not be found in a meat package, and that blood, which is drained from an animal after the animal is stunned, has many uses as a byproduct of meat production from medical applications to animal feed.

The newest Meat MythCrusher video is the 50th in a six-year-old series produced by the North American Meat Institute and the American Meat Science Association. You can view the videos by clicking here.