AMI Issues Statement On Calls For Labels On Mechanically Tenderized Steaks

Washington, D.C. — USDA officials have clearly affirmed that
blade-tenderized steaks are comparable in safety to steaks that have not been
mechanically tenderized.

USDA scientists and public health experts have studied this steak tenderization
process thoroughly. In 2008, FSIS said, The risk of illness from E. coli
O157:H7 in non-intact beef steaks is not significantly higher than intact beef
steaks. (Dr. Carl Schroeder, presentation FSIS Risk Assessments for E. coli
O157:H7, April 9, 2008).

All steaks in retail stores whether blade-tenderized or not must bear safe
handling labels instructing consumers how to cook and handle them to ensure they
are safe when served. Because blade-tenderized steaks have been found to be
comparable in safety, we dont believe that special labeling declaring the
mechanical tenderization process will provide meaningful or actionable
information to consumers.

A thorough investigation of illness outbreaks associated with the recalled
tenderized products should be conducted to determine the cause of the outbreak.
AMI will continue to seek ways to improve the safety of these products.

American Meat Institute