This Steak May Have Fecal Matter Inside
Mechanical tenderization is a big problem, investigation finds
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2012 2:25 PM CST

(Newser) – The next time you order your steak medium rare, consider this: More than 90% of beef producers use a process called mechanical tenderization, which can push bacteria including E. coli deep inside the meat. Typically such bacteria only live on the surface of meat, which is why it's theoretically safe to eat it rare. But mechanical tenderization, which pokes meat with blades and needles in an effort to make it less tough, can lead to meat that Mother Jones so appetizingly calls "poop-contaminated." It has officially led to at least eight recalls and 100 illnesses in the past 10 years, but some suspect it has actually caused many more.

The Kansas City Star undertook a yearlong investigation into the process, and recounts stories of two people who contracted E. coli infections after eating medium-rare steak at Applebee's. Mechanically tenderized meat is frequently sold to grocery stores, family-style restaurants, hotels, and group homes. Grocery stores often don't know it's been tenderized, and the meat usually isn't labeled, so consumers may have no idea whether they're eating it. The Star finds more, and grosser, examples of the lack of regulation in the meat industry: Federal inspection reports for four of the biggest beef slaughter plants include hundreds of references to fecal contamination. See the Star for more.

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Showing 3 of 36 comments
Dec 12, 2012 6:45 PM CST
I'll take my steak medium with and order of E-Coli on the side.
Dec 12, 2012 6:21 PM CST
At your next party: 1. Combine 2 ounces of human (not animal) fecal matter with one cup of extra virgin olive oil and two teaspoons of sugar. 2. Use this as a marinade to cover 16 ounces of sirloin steak in refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Most tender at 4 hours. 3. Heat a frying pan on stove top to high heat for 7 minutes. 4. Place steak in pan for 60-90 seconds and repeat for other side an additional 60-90 seconds. This "sears" the steak. 5. Place frying pan with steak in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes and flip steak over and bake for another 4 minutes. You will be in for the treat of your life. It is excellent, especially for those with discriminating pallets.
Dec 12, 2012 4:28 PM CST
They should check everything that Applebees makes... I can't believe that resteraunt in the Ricky Bobby movie is real! I once ordered nachos there the cheese was moldy, and they microwaved it, pretty sure they saw the mold and still gave it to me anyways.