Raw hamburger is typically called ground beef. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains that there is a difference between the two and mandates that beef fat may be added to hamburger but not to ground beef.
Hamburger and ground beef are permitted to consist of a maximum of 30 percent fat, according to the USDA. Seasonings can be added to either hamburger or ground beef, but no binders, extenders, phosphates or water can be added.
Raw beef should be stored in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and used within two days of purchase. The raw meat can also be wrapped in aluminum foil, freezer paper or heavy-duty plastic wrap or sealed in plastic freezer bags before it is stored in a freezer. While this raw meat can be frozen indefinitely, it is best if it is used within four months.
Instead of ground beef, hamburger patties are sometimes made from ground buffalo, turkey, pork, lamb or sausage.