Meat binder causes concern
The EU has decided to permit the use of the additive Thrombin, and Norway must now follow suit.
Thrombin is a new so-called meat binder that causes blood to coagulate and can thus glue together small pieces of meat into one larger piece.
During the slaughtering process, dangerous bacteria can be transferred to the surface of the meat, so in the new reconstituted meat these surface bacteria can be distributed throughout the piece. If these products are not cooked right through, bacteria may survive food preparation and go on to cause disease.
“Of all the dangerous bacteria, it is particularly certain types of E.coli that represent the greatest risk. These E.coli bacteria, also known as EHECs, can infect with a very small dose and cause serious illness – in the worst cases causing kidney failure and death,” explains Even Heir, Research Scientist at Nofima Mat
Few read product information
Nofima Mat recently carried out a consumer survey that showed that many people prefer their steak or lamb pink in the middle and that only 17 per cent always read information about preparing a product before they make it.
“Those who don’t read carefully may not realise that they have a reconstituted piece of meat, which requires different preparation and must be cooked right through to avoid the risk of this kind of food poisoning. When we consider that as many as 45 per cent of those asked said they thought steak tasted better when not completely cooked through, that gives cause for concern,” says Heir.