Big Beef’s Dirty Little Secrets Revealed
- The hidden danger in your meat Big Beef doesn’t want you to know about. Discover what it is…
- Will the USDA’s solution work for you? Only if you know where to look. Find out more…
- The one person you need to talk to before you hit the grill.
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Memorial Day weekend is upon us.
And you, like many, may have plans to kick off grilling season with a nice juicy steak.
But before you get to throwing those cuts on the BBQ, you might want to give the label a double-check.
You see, over the last 15 years or so, some meats have been responsible for six outbreaks of food-borne illness according to the CDC. We will dig into this a bit deeper in a while.
Including an extreme case where an Iowa woman named Margaret became so ill from eating a medium rare steak she had to be hospitalized.
In fact, this meat-borne infection was so severe it ruined her colon and almost killed her. Sadly, because of this damage, she now has to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life.
And while Margaret’s story is an extreme case, this could happen to anyone who eats a certain type of beef.
But the danger doesn’t lie in the meat itself. It comes from a process so popular that more than 90 percent of beef producers use it.1
It’s not breaking news that processed raw meats bring extra dangers.
For instance, you may have heard that eating ground beef instead of a steak may increase your chances of getting a food-borne illness like E. coli. But an extra precaution is taken with ground beef — E. coli testing.
The problem is this other form of processed beef flies under the radar because it isn’t recognizable like ground meats are. In fact, you would never even know it had been processed.
And it’s even more dangerous because some big beef producers admit they don’t test these cuts for E.coli.
However, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is hoping to reduce the risks of you getting sick from it.
Of course, they aren’t taking the steps to end the practice or require testing these adulterated cuts, but instead label them.
Here’s how they can make you sick…
Tiny Holes, Big Danger
Many beef processors and packers often mechanically tenderize certain cuts of meat.
This process, called “needling” or “blading” in the industry, punctures the beef with blades or needles to break down the muscle fiber, which makes the meat easier to chew.
This becomes dangerous when pathogens like E. coli or salmonella are on the surface of the steak. Once tenderized, those bacteria are transferred to the inside of meat, where they can make you sick.
Since there are several outbreaks of food-borne illness linked to this process, FSIS now requires meat packers to label any beef that has been mechanically tenderized and add safe cooking instructions.
Some companies, like Costco, voluntarily labelled their mechanically tenderized meats even before the requirement went into effect last week. But this kind of transparency was rare among meat sellers.
Without this label, it would be hard to decipher whether your steak was mechanically tenderized. It doesn’t look any different and has no detectable needle piercings.
And since over 2.7 billion pounds of beef labeled for sale in the U.S. are mechanically tenderized, chances you may some in your fridge right now.2
However, just because there is a label doesn’t mean the meat is safe unless it is cooked to a minimum of 160 F.
Considering the popularity of rare and medium rare cooked steaks, mechanically tenderizing could still cause problems for some folks.
If you aren’t willing to give up your rare steaks, it’s probably your best bet to talk to your butcher and find out what cuts haven’t been needled or bladed.
But you may want to do this anyway. I went to the market last night and couldn’t find one package of beef with the label on even though the rule took effect on May 17.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily Insider
Written By Natalie Moore
Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.
View More Free Articles
Keeping your mind sharp as you age is a priority. If you’ve been following my suggestions, you may already be taking steps to protect your brain. And that’s fantastic! Things like taking certain supplements, walking regularly, prioritizing quality sleep, doing challenging crossword puzzles, and playing brain-stimulating games can INDEED support brain health and help head...
Before leaving on a trip recently my daughter was feeling a bit under the weather. She was worried she might be getting sick and asked how to recover more quickly from a cold. I explained that there’s still no cure for the common cold. But, certain foods and self-care practices CAN ease symptoms and shorten...
Is your heart trying to tell you something? Are little warning signs appearing that your ticker may be in trouble someday soon? You may have noticed your blood pressure creeping UP or your energy levels dialing DOWN. Or everyday tasks leave you feeling more winded than usual. Don’t ignore those signs. Your heart could be...
“My wife has had some dizziness when standing up quickly. Should she be concerned? A friend suggested it could be related to her blood pressure medication?” – Frank (Article continues below.) Hi Frank, Low blood pressure when standing after sitting or lying down is called orthostatic or postural hypotension. Typically, someone will feel dizzy or...
We all want to remain youthful, healthy, and vibrant as we age. But that’s easier said than done. Sure, you can fork over the cash for the latest designer anti-aging cream, drink gallons of raw water (whatever that is?), and try to survive on a diet consisting only of green veggies. But the answer to...
Bored to tears by repetitive trips to the gym? Rather walk across hot coals that try another one of the frantic routines presented by perky fitness gurus on TV? Do long walks on the treadmill feel about as thrilling as watching paint dry? New research reveals the answer to your workout prayers… Strap on your...
It’s a habit often hurled as an insult by movie bullies and internet trolls. Yet over HALF of us are “mouth breathers.” And, as I’m sure you already know, despite the insults, mouth breathing doesn’t have a thing to do with intelligence. But new research reveals it DOES have a downside. Mouth breathing could leave...
The change is subtle at first. But it grows with each passing year. Muscle loss sneaks up on us. But, as we pass through middle age and beyond, it can start to take its toll in unexpected ways. Maybe carrying the groceries inside becomes just a bit harder. Or climbing the stairs to the bedroom...
The battle between coffee and green tea lovers has raged for decades. Both beverages have passionate, devoted fans. And each is convinced their drink of choice is THE elixir of life. But when it boils down to SPECIFIC benefits, is one better than the other? Is green tea or coffee superior at fighting aging? How...
Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you have something fun planned with a loved one. Speaking of plans—remember that time you FORGOT Valentine’s and were in the doghouse for days? Or maybe it was your keys, a doctor’s appointment, or even the waitress’s name that’s served you coffee for the last three years instead. Regardless of...