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Consumer Reports recently reported that mechanically tenderized beef pierces with blades used to tenderize meat are the reason behind as few as five outbreaks of E. coli contamination between 2003-2009. Bacteria is typically found on the surface of the meat, and during slaughter the bacteria spreads throughout the meat. The tenderizers moves the bacteria to the middle, and it is not killed when the meat is cooked to rare or medium rare, resulting in illnesses. Th issue has led to 25 illnesses, nine hospitalizations and one fatality in 2009, according to news reports.

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