Mechanically Tenderized Meat May Receive Custom Product Labels
Meat-packers may have to start placing custom product labels on meat that has been mechanically tenderized. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently proposed a measure that would require meat manufacturers that use needles to tenderize food products to disclose if the item has undergone mechanical tenderization.
According to Bloomberg, USDA research found the process can push E. coli and other pathogens from the surface and into the interior of the meat. Beef goods that have been mechanically tenderized often look the same as products that are non-tenderized but need to be cooked longer.
USDA Will Require Labels on Food Products for Consumer Safety
For consumer safety, labels on food products will need to disclose if the meat was tenderized. Bloomberg reports the USDA may place the measure into effect as early as next year, but the public will be able to comment on the proposed rules.
The new meat labels would include special cooking directions for consumers to follow to ensure customers understand how to protect themselves against foodborne illnesses.