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Costco and Blade Tenderizing

Learning to SmokeLearning to Smoke Posts: 69
edited July 2013 in EggHead Forum
First, forgive me if I'm Johnny come lately on this subject. However, several weeks ago I was reading a thread and it was brought up that Costco blade tenderizes its tri tips. Well, I had not heard this term and was interested to learn more. Unfortunately, blade tenderized beef appears to require cooking well beyond my preferred temps to ensure any and all pathogens are killed. Now here is the rub, I was at a Dallas area Costco today and made a point to check out the tri tip and sure enough the label includes that it is blade tenderized and recommends cooking to 160. Well, I'm not gonna do that so, I decide not to buy tri tip. However, I looked at the rest of the beef and it was all blade tenderized, including some real pretty prime grade rib eyes. Why would they do that to cuts that don't need it? After a little online research, the good news is Costco is one of the few that voluntarily label the beef has been blade tenderized. The bad news, I'm no longer buying beef at Costco. Anyone have a good butcher rec in the Dallas area?

Comments

  • ShadowNickShadowNick Posts: 483
    Blade tenderizing on even a good cut makes it better IMHO. I have a Jaccard to blade tenderize at home and still cook my stuff to Medium-Rare without issue. Your mileage may vary though.
    Chicago, Illinois
  • I bought some tri tip from Costco the other day. Got home and read the same thread. I ended up taking the steak back to Costco and returning it. I did not realize that they did it to other cuts too. That stinks. I was just getting into buying more stuff from there. I guess I will have to rethink that.
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 783
    Is it just a default (pre printed) label they put on all their beef? I've bought many a tri tip from Costco that was not tenderized. The only beef I've always seen them tenderize in my area is brisket flats.

    CHEERS
    B_B
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • Is it just a default (pre printed) label they put on all their beef? I've bought many a tri tip from Costco that was not tenderized. The only beef I've always seen them tenderize in my area is brisket flats.

    CHEERS
    B_B

    According to some recent articles, all Costco beef with the exception of filets or flank steak. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/06/has-your-steak-been-mechanically-tenderized/index.htm I also found another forum discussing this and a former Costco employee (allegedly) said its been going on for awhile and is done in each individual wearhouse. So, I guess it may be possible to ask for something before it is blade tenderized. Don't know how practical that is.
  • Does anyone know if that's also true of the subprimal cuts they sell?  I had entertained the notion of buying subprimals from Costco and cutting my own steaks, but I like 'em on the rarer side.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    I'd rather they not do that, but I'm not going to succumb to all the fear.   I'll eat that stuff.  What I won't eat anymore is undercooked cheap burger meat.  They mix up huge batches and it just takes one contaminated cow to ruin it.

    I've studied the epidemiology of O157:H7 and statistically, if you're healthy, and you buy good meats from reputable butchers, you are way more likely to die from a host of other daily practices, like driving or riding in a car.

    Read this:

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/11/4/04-0739_article.htm
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nemonemo Posts: 102
    You asked for recommendation of butcher in Dallas area.  Try Hersch's on Parker Rd in Plano.  I buy all my meat and poultry from them...have been for 15 years.  
    Fairview, Texas
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,202
    Costco's sanitation procedures are far and above industry standards. I would bet that many places blade tenderize I used but few voluntarily advertise this fact like Costco does. I would seek out a Butcher who can guarantee that it doesn't happen. The blade tenderizing happens at the processing plant(Excel for my Costco). They do not have a tenderizer on site. I would venture a guess that this is the case for most stores, despite the few cases I have read about where it was stated they did. Perhaps this is in higher volume stores.

    Otherwise, fill out a comment card at the front of the store. They are collected weekly and sent to corporate. They are quite responsive to member needs.
  • mb99zzmb99zz Posts: 182
    Just curious if anyone knows whether of not Wegmans does this to their beef. I'll make a point to ask next time I am there, but was curious if anyone already knew.
  • Learning to SmokeLearning to Smoke Posts: 69
    edited July 2013
    nemo said:
    You asked for recommendation of butcher in Dallas area.  Try Hersch's on Parker Rd in Plano.  I buy all my meat and poultry from them...have been for 15 years.  

    Thanks Nemo 

    SaterdayFatterday, the few article and info I found online seem to indicate the subprimals were not blade tenderized, however, I have not asked my local store yet. 

    Nolaegghead, thanks for your thoughts and the link.
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,130
    I am reading as much as possible on this subject. If blade tenderizing is occurring at the processing plant then x contamination occurs to all meats tenderized until the unit is cleaned.
    Like NOLA, will not stop buying meat, but I will ask informed questions of the butcher. I agree with Eggcelsior that Costco practices some of the best sanitation procedures (former CA neighbor was a butcher at Costco got a lot of inside scoop).
    PS there is nothing worse on the body than the suffering from food poisoning. That experience is seared in your memory forever.
    Eggin in SW "Keep it Weird" TX
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,131
    Found this at Costco's web site:

    Costco takes food safety very seriously.  Costco buys only USDA Choice and USDA Prime Beef from suppliers that have implemented tight food safety controls.  These food safety controls help to reduce or eliminate bacteria on the surface of the meat.  As a result, bacterial issues related to blade tenderization are greatly reduced.  Even though our processes are very thorough and reduce the risk of issues, Costco still chooses to voluntarily label all blade tenderized product to ensure that our members understand our processes.  Costco feels that blade tenderization improves the eating quality of the beef that we sell so that our members will be fully satisfied with their purchase.

    I wrote them about this practice and urged them to stop doing it. If enough people write, perhaps they will stop.  Here in Lancaster, PA, I don't recall ever seeing a label on their meat that says it was blade tenderized. I will be sure to look at the meat case more carefully on my next visit.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • LitLit Posts: 2,775
    I have been buying tri tips from Costco for several years and always cook them to the mid 120s and never any issues. That sucks they do it but I'm not gonna stop buying from them.
  • Lit said:
    I have been buying tri tips from Costco for several years and always cook them to the mid 120s and never any issues. That sucks they do it but I'm not gonna stop buying from them.
    I too have been buying them for years, and cooking to 130-135 no problems.  However, I do cook for someone with an autoimmune disease.  Now that I have the info on their practice, I'll have to decide what I'm gonna do with it.  I'm leaning towards not buying blade tenderized meat. 
  • Learning to SmokeLearning to Smoke Posts: 69
    edited July 2013
    Shiff, 

    Here's what the label looks like 
    image Well looks like the pic won't show. Sorry.
  • The oldest and probably the best butcher shop in the Dallas area is Rudolph's

    http://rudolphsmarket.com/ 

    XL & Medium BGE Keller, TX
  • danv23danv23 Posts: 402
    God dammit.

    The Dude: Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    Walter Sobchak: [shouting] Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules? Mark it zero!

    Cumming, GA
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,131
    I wrote to Costco to complain about their blade tenderizing any meat. I asked if all meat was tenderized or just the ones that they package. I specifically asked if cryovac packaged meat was tenderized. I got this reply:

    "all pre-packaged meat (that we pack on site) at all warehouses, are blade tenderized. Cryovac meat is not. Hope this information helps clarify."
    Barry Lancaster, PA
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