Mechanically tenderized meat

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Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #267990 Durgan
Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:46 am

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201 ... rizer.html

Mechanical meat tenderizers use needles and blades to penetrate steak and roasts. Health Canada says the process of mechanically tenderizing meat is a "very common practice" that is used by suppliers, retailers and restaurants "to improve the tenderness and flavour of cooked beef."

The process can also drive E. coli on the surface of the meat into the centre, making it harder to kill during cooking, CBC's Marketplace found during a recent test...

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #267992 GeorgeSalt
Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:01 pm

I'm so glad I don't have to eat Canadian food, it sound so dangerous the way you tell it Durgan.
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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #267994 Durgan
Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:14 pm

GeorgeSalt wrote:I'm so glad I don't have to eat Canadian food, it sound so dangerous the way you tell it Durgan.


Don't imagine the UK is immune. With the New World Order anything thing is possible, regarding food.

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268001 MKG
Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:39 pm

Astounding - another "let's make up a scare story 'cos we're bored" bit of journalism. What the author forgets to mention is the incidence of E. coli outbreaks in Canada. Is it much greater than anywhere else in the world, Durgan? I don't know - and neither does the author or it would have been mentioned, wouldn't it? Oh - maybe not. If the incidence is virtually the same as in, say, the USA or Western Europe, then the whole thing would be a non-story and said author would have to get down to some serious reporting.

My bullshit bells are going ting-a-ling.

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268004 Odsox
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:16 pm

The process sounds pretty much like the meat mallet that I have, smooth on one face and rough metal on the other.
The smooth side is invaluable for flattening chicken breasts for making Kievs and roulades and I have used the rough side on the rare occasions when I'm rich enough to buy sirloin steak, but not rich enough to buy fillet steak.
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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268006 Odsox
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:23 pm

Hang on ... isn't this the same as the "minute steaks" we used to get, thin pieces of less than prime steak that looked like it had gone through a spikey mangle ?
If so, they were in the shops at least 50 years ago which makes this very old news indeed.
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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268009 GeorgeSalt
Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:42 pm

Durgan wrote:
GeorgeSalt wrote:I'm so glad I don't have to eat Canadian food, it sound so dangerous the way you tell it Durgan.


Don't imagine the UK is immune. With the New World Order anything thing is possible, regarding food.


I really think you ought to take more water with the potato juice, Durgan.

I also think we need to add another question, what does the practice of juicing do for the transmission of surface microfauna to the interior tissues of the vegetable?
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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268017 The Riff-Raff Element
Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:46 pm

Be fair - this is a useful piece of knowledge that could save some people getting very ill. If they know that such practices might increase the risk of E. coli infection they can adjust their cooking or eating habits accordingly. What's so bad about informing people?

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268020 GeorgeSalt
Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:04 pm

It's a practice that's only ever going to be done with cheap meat, and cheap meat needs to be cooked properly anyway. If you like a rare steak you're very unlikely to be using a piece of meat treated in this way. As Odsox points out, this is the "minute steak" that's been about for decades and it doesn't need the scare story treatment.

The principle is similar to that behind a self-basting chicken, although with the chicken it's a saline solution being injected into the breast and thigh to be released as the bird cooks. Personally I find a normal chicken and decent coat of butter and freshly ground pepper does the trick.

Maybe it's because I worked in the feed and meat business for several years and I've been through the HACCP and food safety programmes. I know how it works. Most food poisoning is unreported and caused by poor domestic hygiene and cooking practices, only the rare mass outbreaks are ever reported and these are a very small part of the total. I'm also aware that some of the standards accepted in the US and Canada in meat production wouldn't be legal in Europe.
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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268023 The Riff-Raff Element
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:02 pm

GeorgeSalt wrote:It's a practice that's only ever going to be done with cheap meat, and cheap meat needs to be cooked properly anyway.


No disagreement from me, but "cooking properly" and the need for it in certain circumstances is something that people should be informed about. Far from being a scare story I thought the CBC article was quite considered and balanced.

As for cooking chickens, I reckon a rotisserie is better with butter, garlic, herbs de Provence, salt & pepper shoved in the cavity. That way the hot butter and flavour run through the meat as it turns.

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268024 MKG
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:11 pm

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:Be fair - this is a useful piece of knowledge that could save some people getting very ill. If they know that such practices might increase the risk of E. coli infection they can adjust their cooking or eating habits accordingly. What's so bad about informing people?


But the article doesn't inform, Jon - it frightens, and it's meant to. From Wikipedia (I know!!) ... "Fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease". Wikipedia is correct. The E. coli bug does not magically appear upon blades and spikes in a meat processing plant no matter how many people claim it does - it is transported in on the hands of human beings. If there are cases of E. coli infection from meat treated as in the article, it is not the blades and spikes which produced it - it is the bad hygiene practice of the processors.

Really, then, the article should have pointed out the dangers of allowing human beings within five feet of a steak. As George points out, if you buy a steak treated in this manner to eat rare, you're guilty of away-with-the-fairies wishful thinking. The amount of cooking to render this rubbish tender would spell death to a humble E. coli.

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268027 GeorgeSalt
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:28 pm

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
GeorgeSalt wrote:It's a practice that's only ever going to be done with cheap meat, and cheap meat needs to be cooked properly anyway.


No disagreement from me, but "cooking properly" and the need for it in certain circumstances is something that people should be informed about. Far from being a scare story I thought the CBC article was quite considered and balanced.

As for cooking chickens, I reckon a rotisserie is better with butter, garlic, herbs de Provence, salt & pepper shoved in the cavity. That way the hot butter and flavour run through the meat as it turns.


The number of commercial rotisseries I still see where the cooked chicken is at the bottom is quite horrifying.

Cooking properly should be part of every child's education and reinforced at home. It's a life skill that if you lack it will severely restrict your ability to eat well.

If a story ends on the tale of a toddler's death because his dinner wasn't cooked properly then it counts as a scare story. If meat was so bad that it could poison you after being cooked it would be so bad it would be obvious from the colour and smell. But it just takes one lazy shortcut to allow cooked food to be contaminated by surfaces that uncooked food have been in contact with, or for food to be removed from the heat before it's cooked through. You wouldn't give a toddler any piece of meat that wasn't well done.
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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268028 The Riff-Raff Element
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:41 pm

MKG wrote:From Wikipedia (I know!!) ... "Fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease". Wikipedia is correct. The E. coli bug does not magically appear upon blades and spikes in a meat processing plant no matter how many people claim it does - it is transported in on the hands of human beings. If there are cases of E. coli infection from meat treated as in the article, it is not the blades and spikes which produced it - it is the bad hygiene practice of the processors.



Well, yes. And - to an extent - no. Quite a lot of the contamination comes from poor practice spreading cow poo where it shouldn't be, including on the blades & mincers, and ending up on the surface of the meat. Some major outbreaks have started this way: "Fast Food Nation" waxes lyrical about this. It's not just humans going to the loo and not washing their hands. But I suppose it amounts to the same thing.

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268029 The Riff-Raff Element
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:43 pm

GeorgeSalt wrote:If a story ends on the tale of a toddler's death because his dinner wasn't cooked properly then it counts as a scare story. If meat was so bad that it could poison you after being cooked it would be so bad it would be obvious from the colour and smell. But it just takes one lazy shortcut to allow cooked food to be contaminated by surfaces that uncooked food have been in contact with, or for food to be removed from the heat before it's cooked through. You wouldn't give a toddler any piece of meat that wasn't well done.


And this tale serves very well to demonstrate why one should be careful, doesn't it?

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Re: Mechanically tenderized meat

Post: #268030 GeorgeSalt
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:51 pm

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
MKG wrote:From Wikipedia (I know!!) ... "Fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease". Wikipedia is correct. The E. coli bug does not magically appear upon blades and spikes in a meat processing plant no matter how many people claim it does - it is transported in on the hands of human beings. If there are cases of E. coli infection from meat treated as in the article, it is not the blades and spikes which produced it - it is the bad hygiene practice of the processors.



Well, yes. And - to an extent - no. Quite a lot of the contamination comes from poor practice spreading cow poo where it shouldn't be, including on the blades & mincers, and ending up on the surface of the meat. Some major outbreaks have started this way: "Fast Food Nation" waxes lyrical about this. It's not just humans going to the loo and not washing their hands. But I suppose it amounts to the same thing.


Having watched the cow dissassembly process, this shouldn't happen. And the mincers and blades are several *days* removed from the part where the guts are dropped out. And at that point the carcass is still whole, so contamination could not occur on a cut surface of a jointed piece of meat.

It's slightly more complicated when killing sheep. With beef you have a seperation of the process and empoyees fall into either the "dirty" or "clean" side of the operation. With sheep it's a one-man operation and one arm is "dirty" and the other "clean".

Chicken is completely different.. completely mechanised. The KFC jointing machine is a work of art.
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