Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
True or False: It’s safe to eat your steak rare, because unlike ground beef, dangerous bacteria don’t infiltrate intact cuts of meat.
If you answered true, you’re surely not alone. That’s what we’ve been told all along, right? While this theory often is correct, it doesn’t apply to steaks that have been mechanically tenderized. The process, whereby small needles or blades are repeatedly inserted into a steak, transfers deadly bacteria from the surface to the interior. This means the center of a processed steak must be cooked to a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be considered safe to eat.
How do you avoid mechanically tenderized steaks? You can’t, at this point, if you're buying your steaks at the supermarket. There are no laws requiring that processed steaks be labeled as such. According to Food Safety News
You can be sure you're getting an intact steak if you buy from a local producer that doesn't use this process. To locate one near you, check out Eat Wild's Product Directory, or the database at Local Harvest.