Look at that nice, pink cut of beef, cooked rare for your steak-gobbling pleasure. Now look a little closer and hey! It could be just smushed together pieces of diced beef, bound with something called “meat glue.” Not so appetizing now, eh?
Komo News reports on a new, slightly troubling trend popping up in restaurants, butchers and other food producers. Meat glue is a powdery product also known as transglutaminase, a natural-occurring protein made from the blood of pigs, cows and chickens
With this meat glue, chefs can, and are, turning leftover chunks of meat into a veritable Franken-log, which may or may not be indicated on the menu. Once the pieces of meat are made into a mixture with the meat glue, they’re wrapped up and set to rest in the fridge over night, where the glue does its work and fuses the bits together.
Food safety lawyer Bill M. tells Komo News he thinks it’s totally gross to use meat glue.
“I’m a real firm believer that consumers have a right to know what they are putting in their bodies,” he said.
As long as the food is cooked to at least 165 degrees, the Food and Drug Administration says meat glue is safe. That could be tricky if a steak is ordered medium well or below, with a potential for bacteria to grow at fused glue points.
And while some product labels are required to say if they include a formed meat product, there is no such rule for restaurant menus.
*Thanks for the tip, Chuck!