CORRECTION: I just got a call from the NMA’s spokesman Jeremy Russell who said that he had initially been misquoted in the Bloomberg story. It was quickly corrected, but not before the story got picked up and spread widely. Here’s the correct quote:
“Proper cooking is recommended for all raw beef products, but there’s not a contamination issue,” said Russell, with the National Meat Association.
The latest kerfluffle in the meat industry, the use of something called “meat glue” to stick smaller pieces of meat together to mimic larger pieces, produced another round of shocked dismay from the beef industry. The industry can’t imagine why people are upset, just because they may feel they are being deceived by getting cheaper meat at a more expensive price (I saw a TV report using stew beef to mimic filet mignon and apparently it was undetectable). But what really got me was the reaction from the National Meat Association representative to the concerns that cuts formed with meat glue had the potential to be less safe — the concern is that contamination on the surface of the glued pieces becomes part of the interior of the meat. That’s a real problem, say critics, when such glued meat is cooked rare or medium rare. Here’s the response of the National Meat Association spokesman:
“As long as it’s cooked properly, there’s not a contamination issue,” he said.
Did he just question the justification for the entire food safety regime in slaughter plants, with its chemical baths and ultraviolet radiation? I mean, really, if people would just take responsibility and cook their meat properly, the meat companies wouldn’t need to spend all that money killing off those pesky pathogens on the carcasses, now would they?