Consumer Reports: "Blade tenderized" beef risks - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: "Blade tenderized" beef risks

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The beef you buy may have been tenderized by machines, and that process  can introduce potentially deadly bacteria into your food. The beef you buy may have been tenderized by machines, and that process can introduce potentially deadly bacteria into your food.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC TV) - Before you fire up the grill for some great summer meals, Consumer Reports has a caution.

The beef you buy may have been tenderized by machines, and that process 
can introduce potentially deadly bacteria into your food.

The trouble is that sharp blades or needles can drive dangerous bacteria, including E. 
coli, from the surface of the meat into the center, where they're harder to kill. That can 
increase health risks, especially for people who eat their meat rare or medium rare.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has reports of four deaths and 174 illnesses in the past ten years caused by mechanically tenderized beef contaminated with harmful 
E. coli bacteria.

You can't tell by looking at the beef whether it has been run through a machine. Costco 
now labels any beef that has been "blade tenderized" after an outbreak was linked 
to its meat sold in Canada last year. 

Consumer Reports does not know exactly how much meat in the U.S. is tenderized by 
machine. But it believes that labeling should be required so that people know to cook 
it thoroughly. The best way to be sure meat is thoroughly cooked is to use a meat 
thermometer and make sure the temperature reaches 160° F in the center. 

Also, be aware that steak and roasts you get in restaurants may be mechanically tenderized, too. So your safest bet is to order meat well done.

The federal government is currently weighing whether to require mandatory labeling for 
mechanically tenderized meat. The American Meat Institute, a trade association, had 
opposed labeling, but said it may reconsider its position if new federal studies suggest labeling would be helpful. 

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