January 12, 2013

Why Your Next Steak Might Kill You. ~ Monica Johnson

Dangerous pathogens, such as E. coli, are generally present in beef.

In fact, ground beef is so synonymous with harmful bacteria that there are strict safety standards that call for inspections of the meat. This is a good thing.

Primal cuts of meat, such as steak or roasts, are not usually tested. This is not a good thing. This means that more dangerous bacteria-infected meat makes it to the market for the consumer to purchase.

But wait, there’s more!

A year-long investigation by the Kansas City Star, called Beef’s Raw Edges, revealed that a common practice in meat processing plants is to mechanically tenderize cuts of meat that may be tough. It may also be called bladed or needled meat.

If the meat is tenderized on a conveyor belt and one steak contains dangerous pathogens, the needles or blades may now contain that pathogen and can pass it onto the next piece of meat.

A majority of this meat is sold to family-style restaurants, hotels and group homes.

So, the next time your waitress asks how you want your burger or steak cooked, consider saying, “Well-done!”


Monica Johnson is proud to call New York City her home, though she equally loves Mount Desert Island, Maine. In an ideal world, she would split her time between the two. She also loves hiking and puppies.



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Assistant Ed: Amy Cushing

Ed: Bryonie Wise


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