Meat Glue Turns Scraps into Prime Cuts of Meat

May 21st, 2011

International Business Times
by Kelsey Murray

When I go to the grocery store and buy steak, I assume that what I’m buying is a prime cut piece of meat. However, a new report shows that consumers are being misled about the quality of their meats and even lied to about what it is that they are actually buying.

It’s an industry secret that meat markets and grocery stores do not want us to know about. Unfortunately, the meats that we buy at our local delis might be several smaller pieces of meat that have been glued together using meat glue.

Wait, meat glue? What is that?! Meat glue is transflutaminase, a family of enzymes that when applied to separate pieces of meat have a reaction that bonds the meat pieces together, forming one solid piece of meat. Meat scraps are sprinkled with meat glue, rolled up in Saran wrap, and refrigerated for six hours. After the six hours, the meat is unrolled and a new piece of meat is revealed.

Meat glue is currently being used on beef, chicken, and pork. It does not affect the taste of the meat once it is cooked, but it could cause some potential health risks for humans. If these meats are not fully cooked, they are much more likely to cause food poisoning for humans.

How can you avoid these glued up meats? Well, chances are, you can’t. Current labeling laws do not require that the glued pieces of meat be distinguished from non-glued pieces of meat. In order to reduce your risk of getting food poisoning from meats that have been glued together, you should make sure that all of your meats are thoroughly cooked. You can also ask your butcher if the meat you are buying contains meat glue.


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