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Scientists 'All Up In Your Grill'

Summer is grilling season, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists are working to ensure the beef on your grill is safe and nutritious. Beef purchased at your local grocer or butcher may be labelled as "mechanically tenderized," and includes instructions to ensure your steaks and roasts are cooked properly. These instructions are based on research conducted at AAFC's Lacombe Research and Development Centre.

Mechanical tenderization can improve beef quality, particularly in tougher cuts of meats, without changing the nutritional value. Small knives or piercers cut through muscle fibres and connective tissues of beef which tenderizes the product. To eliminate any potential bacteria that may have been transferred from the outer layers of cuts to inside of the meat during this process, it is necessary to cook the beef properly. AAFC researchers found that beef products should be cooked to at least medium rare to a temperature of 63°C or 145°F. A tip to ensure cooking evenness for steaks is to flip them at least twice to ensure the proper cooking temperature through the entire steak. This improves both food quality and safety.

For more information:

C.O. Gill, J. Devos, M. Badoni, and X. Yang. 2016. Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Beef Roasts Cooked in Conventional or Convection Ovens or in a Slow Cooker under Selected Conditions. Journal of Food Protection 79:2, 205-212.

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