Rather than eating the high-priced filet mignon they paid for, restaurant customers are running the risk of receiving a bacteria-ridden compilation of meat scraps put together using an edible food adhesive known as “meat glue.”
Meat glue, or more scientifically named “transglutaminase,” is an enzyme produced adhesive cooking substance made from animal blood. The glue has the ability to bond protein-containing foods together. Raw meats bound with TG are often strong enough to be handled as if they were whole uncut muscles. It is used to enhance, restructure, or mold meat into a form that can be cut and cooked evenly by the food industry.
Even though the US Food and Drug Administration requires labeling of ingredients and nutrition facts on almost all foods, a spot-check of meat purveyors and restaurant suppliers by Scripps Howard News Service found that almost no companies listed the ingredient on product content labels. Marketing consultants and food scientists estimate that anywhere from 11 to 35 percent of all packaged and sliced ham, beef, chicken, fish, pizza toppings and other products are enhanced with meat glue. -more-
The meat adhesive is used to produce meats found in supermarkets, local delis, restaurants, and even in some vegetarian food.
“I had a problem eating meat for a good month when I heard about this [meat glue],” said President of the US Food Safety Corporation Susan H. Reef, “I don’t think its right; everything should be labeled so everyone is aware.” Nutrition experts verify that the meat glue substance is perfectly safe to consume, but others say it poses some major health risks. “Like the "pink slime" used as a cheap ground-beef filler, meat glue is not considered a health risk by federal food watchdogs,” said Andrew Schneider of Scripps Howard News Service. The temperature that the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety...
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