Requires Labeling of Mechanically Tenderized
Requires Labeling of Mechanically Tenderized Meat
requirement that the meat industry label cuts of meat that
have been needle- or blade-tenderized is a common sense
remedy that can protect consumers. This little-known but
widespread industry practice can push surface pathogens to
the interior of the meat, making those bacteria much harder
to kill unless a consumer cooks the meat to well done.
Consumers and restaurants should exercise more care when
cooking these products and use a meat thermometer to ensure
an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees, plus a
three-minute rest period, or even 160 degrees.
USDA should accelerate
the requirement and make labels mandatory by January 2014.
In the meantime, consumers should ask at the meat counter if
the products they are buying have been mechanically
tenderized and select intact cuts if they prefer meat rare
or medium rare.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit
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on nutrition and food safety policies. CSPI is supported by
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