The color of store-bought meat loaf

We had some meat loaf for dinner tonight. While the homemade dish is usually browned, this is red, even when fully cooked. We bought it at Sprouts, already prepared. Is it supposed to be red inside? It didn’t look or taste quite right, and even adding Worcestershire sauce didn’t improve it.

Someone didn’t try to slip a meat-less meatloaf past you, did they?

You are in Cali after all…:cool:

We got some of the Sprouts meatloaf before, and it stayed kind of red/pink as well, despite being cooked past the ground beef safety temp as per the USDA.

I think it’s a combination of two things in some proportion- first, there might be some kind of nitrates or nitrites in there that would make the meat stay pink/red. Second, there’s probably a lot of tomato products and bread crumbs or something in there and when all mixed up, they stay red even after cooking. I’d guess the second, but if there’s celery powder or juice or something, that could give it a little nitrite boost as well.