The USDA Is Putting New Warnings Labels on Beef

Staff Writer
The USDA is putting a new label on beef to warn consumers about mechanically tenderized beef, which can spread E. coli
Now you’ll have even more information when you go to buy a steak at the grocery store.

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Now you’ll have even more information when you go to buy a steak at the grocery store.

The USDA is looking to give even more nutritional information to consumers nowadays. First, the nutrition labels were overhauled and redesigned and now USDA-grade beef will come with a warning label specifying whether or not it has been mechanically tenderized.

Although the tenderization process is common, it has actually been linked to the spreading of E. coli and salmonella, which might have increased foodborne pathogens over the past several years.

When the mechanical blades cut into the tenderized meat, they also push in external bacteria. Meat has to be cooked to 145 degrees F or hotter in order to kill off any bacteria, or risk the transfer of E. coli or salmonella. About 11 percent of all beef is mechanically tenderized, which makes the meat less tough and easier to chew, according to CBS.

Now customers will be able to choose on their own, with clear labels, if they’re willing to take the risk of buying beef that could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria.

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