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It is often said that true steak-lovers know that the meat is meant to be consumed (medium) rare.For them, this report from the Kansas City Star may be heartbreaking. Reporter Mike McGraw spent a year looking into the meat industry’s meat tenderization process, and what he found was very disturbing.
According to the report, the meat industry is increasingly relying on mechanical tenderization to produce more meat, faster by making tough cuts more edible. The problem is that this process could put Americans at higher risk of E. coli poisoning, as it pushes dangerous bacteria inside the meat where quick cooking will not kill it.
The industry calls meat that has undergone this process, “bladed” or “needled” meat, and a 2008 survey found that 90 per cent of beef producers are using it on some cuts.
One 87-year-old grandmother, Margaret Lamkin, was forced to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life after eating a rare steak at Applebees that contained pathogens that nearly destroyed her colon.
Lamkin, like most consumers today, didn’t know she had ordered a steak that had been run through a mechanical tenderizer. In a lawsuit, Lamkin said her steak came from National Steak Processors Inc., which claimed it got the contaminated meat from a U.S. plant run by Brazilian-based JBS — the biggest beef packer in the world.
“You trust people, trust that nothing is going to happen,” Lamkin said, “but they (beef companies) are mass-producing this and shoveling it into us.”…
In a 2010 letter to the USDA, the American Meat Institute noted eight recalls between 2000 and 2009 that identified mechanically tenderized and marinated steaks as the culprit. Those recalls sickened at least 100 people.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/06/v-project_one/3951690/beefs-raw-edges.html#storylink=cpyHollow needles used during the tenderization process sometimes inject marinades to the meat for flavoring. Plus, there is no label that shows whether or not meat has been “bladed” or “needled” when you go to the grocery store.