USDA requires labeling of "Blade tenderized" for risk of pathogens
Friday, May 27, 2016 at 3:28PM
HSP USA, LLC in Contamination, Deadly Germs, Food Poisoning, Safe Food

Here’s the newest reason to read the label when buying beef at the local grocery store: mechanically tenderized beef. A new USDA-mandated label will start appearing on cuts of beef this week, noting whether the meat was run through a machine that uses blades or needles to pierce and break down the muscle fibers and make it easier to chew. But it also means the meat has a greater chance of being contaminated and making you sick.

The process, which has been used for years, increases the chances of pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella from being passes from one piece of meat to the next. Plus, because the machine digs into the meat, the bacteria can be pushed further inside the meat — meaning it has to be cooked to a higher internal temperature, 145 degrees, to kill it.

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