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|I used it yesterday on a couple of whole boned rolled legs of pork that I am preparing for gammon joints. I made a paste of the Transglutaminase and brushed it over all of the inside surfaces of the rolled leg and then re tied it, vac packed it and left it overnight in the fridge. Today I sliced them into gammon sized joints and I was impressed. All of the inside surfaces that would usually try to come apart when cut were securely bonded together. This made the slicing and injecting much easier and it meant that the joints kept their shape.

The Transglutaminase is a naturally occurring enzyme that helps repair muscle damage, as well as helping blood to clot. It is considered safe by both the US FDA and also the EU and UK FSA. As it naturally occurs in meat and is indistinguishable from the meat protein once it has been applied it does not even have to be included on a product's ingredients list. On further investigation it appears that we have all been eating it for years anyway as it is used in most processed beef, ham and chicken products. Many of the top restaurants use it to ensure even size portions and even cooking, and it has even been used to create prawn spaghetti.

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I have also read reports where of cuts of Steak have been glued together to form one big Steak.

The reports mentioned the risks in this method, some thing like this.

Steaks made like this have had surfaces exposed to bacteria ect. If cooked Rear, Medium Rear and Medium the Bacteria  on the inner surfaces will not be killed.

Point for discussion?

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That is true, however it is all down to good food handling practice.

There is nothing wrong with using small cuts of meat that are glued together to form a useful size piece that may otherwise have been discarded. You can view that in one of two ways - The first is that it is preventing waste food and the other is that it is maximising profits. One may be a more appealing thought than the other...

The reformed meats in restaurants are part way between being a meat joint and being a reformed minced meat product (e.g. a burger). The bacteria is going to be roughly the same in both the joint and the burger when the meat is freshly minced, however the bacteria will start to grow at a faster rate once the meat has been minced. In the reformed/glued meat it will  grow faster than on the joint however the reformed meat is vacuum packed as it is formed (unlike the burger) and chilled, which will have slowed down any bacterial growth.

The safe cooking temperatures required reflect the potential hazard of the meat being prepared and the reformed joint will pose less of a bacterial hazard than a burger. There are  minimum FSA cooking temperatures, however these are not cast in stone. The FSA states that restaurants should cook their minced beef products to 74 C for at least 30 seconds (or to 70 C for two minutes) however it also allows them to cook burgers rare providing the restaurant has a  “validated and verified food safety management plan" in place.

Reformed/glued meat products from factories that are roasted/baked as joints will usually be taken above 74 C anyway and so there is not considered to be any risk. Reformed products produced in restaurants will usually me made one day and then vac packed and chilled for several hours (or overnight) before being used. The risk from increased bacterial infection there will be negligible - even for reformed steaks that are cooked rare or medium.

However - If the place preparing the food does not follow good food handling practices then that is a different issue altogether...

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