Jump to content

CostCo and meat safety


keeperovdeflame
 Share

Recommended Posts

Like a probably a lot of us on this forum, I don't have a local butcher or a grocery that has a good meat Dept or butcher. Therefore, like a lot of folks on the Guru,  I buy most of my meat from CostCo. A while back, I learned that all of CostCo's individually cut steaks are run through a jacquard tenderizer. This includes both the choice and prime cuts and tri tips and, flank steaks and london broil, as well. The problem with this is that  heat and medium rare temps will kill the bacteria located on the outer surface of a steak; but will not effectively kill bacteria deposited by the jacquard blades deep inside the steak. CostCo knows this, and responsibly labels all of their individual steak cuts with a directive to cook to 165 degrees. However, for most of us, a 165 deg steak is not what we are looking for. I generally pull my steaks at 120 and eat them at around 125 to somewhere below 130 IT, which is not  considered a safe IT temp for a Jacquarded steak. The way around this problem is to buy a whole rib eye or loin which has not been run through a jacquard and cut your own individual steaks. If you do this, all you have to deal with is the bacteria on the outside surface of the steak and lower medium rare IT  will take care of that just fine. Here are some pics of a whole prime rib eye and a hand cut steak. This one was bone less but sometimes I can score a bone in which is my favorite. 

 

DSC_3287.thumb.jpg.aa94c891026edc82a1f845f968aa2bdd.jpg

IMG_0369.thumb.jpg.9dcba5d293e6bea436297992c25d6732.jpg

You plop down more money initially, but generally save in the long run. Plus you don't have the possible food safety issues you have with the comercially  jacquard steaks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally agree with you on this one. Definitely better to buy buy whole cuts and cut them yourself. I have a jaccard at home but not into commercial tenderized or injected meats.

 

I live in the middle of nowhere but if I drive 50 minutes I can visit a decent local butcher (70 minutes is a really good butcher). Neither place is cheap but even their chicken is noticeably better. Lately I just make the drive once or twice a month. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, ckreef said:

I live in the middle of nowhere but if I drive 50 minutes I can visit a decent local butcher (70 minutes is a really good butcher). Neither place is cheap but even their chicken is noticeably better. Lately I just make the drive once or twice a month. 

I had a butcher in California, and I know the truth in what you say. Quality chicken is so noticeable, you could easily pick out he quality bird in a taste test. Same thing with meats. I have to check Phoenix and Scottsdale for a butcher, that's 120 miles but I would gladly do it for quality meat. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More concerning to me than the Costco jacquard practice is the pile of unwanted stuff sitting at the foot of almost every register at my local Costco. Shoppers get themselves into a feeding frenzy walking through Costco and load up a cart (or two). Then, waiting for check-out, there’s pre-buyer’s remorse when logic clicks in. The sheets, three sweaters, 5-gallon tub of mouthwash get unloaded and stacked at the foot of the register to be restocked, along with chicken, salmon, other meats, cheese, frozen shrimp... I can’t help but wonder when I’m in the meat/fish/freezer section of my Costco how many times that package of whatever was paraded through the store and ultimately left unrefrigerated for who-knows-how-long only to be returned from whence it came to begin the cycle over again...

 

and thats why I don’t buy fish/chicken/beef at costco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, ckreef said:

I totally agree with you on this one. Definitely better to buy buy whole cuts and cut them yourself. I have a jaccard at home but not into commercial tenderized or injected meats.

 

I live in the middle of nowhere but if I drive 50 minutes I can visit a decent local butcher (70 minutes is a really good butcher). Neither place is cheap but even their chicken is noticeably better. Lately I just make the drive once or twice a month. 

 

 

 

I do feel very lucky in that respect. Even though we are truly in the middle of nowhere by most folks standards, we are along the old rail line, and have a few small towns that still thrive thanks to retirees moving to the old mining towns  to find some serenity. We also have a pretty darn good butcher in town, and a huge meat packer/custom killing facility just up the road that processes our livestock for us.

 

 

I also appreciate that someone has brought this to everyones attention. I never buy steaks from a store anyways, but often buy roasts to cut up, but this is good knowledge to have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't buy Costco meat anymore but when I did, I didn't sweat that little detail.  I never got sick from eating any of it either.  Their steaks are all cut directly from the sub primals so if they are keeping their equipment clean, you should have no worries of diseased food.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually prefer Costco meat. Never had a problem but nice to be reminded that yes indeed Costco is all about quantity.

 

As far as items put back on the shelf for whatever reason-I was taught by my Mother (40 years ago) and still do it,  I never take the first item on the display. With meat, I dig to the bottom of the display. Rarely will I take the last one left either. That includes anything. Quirky but effective.

 

M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, John Setzler said:

I don't buy Costco meat anymore but when I did, I didn't sweat that little detail.  I never got sick from eating any of it either.  Their steaks are all cut directly from the sub primals so if they are keeping their equipment clean, you should have no worries of diseased food.

 

I spoke to the butcher at the Costco that I shop at. He told me that they clean the jacquard every two hours (if I remember the time correctly).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Golf Griller said:

 

I spoke to the butcher at the Costco that I shop at. He told me that they clean the jacquard every two hours (if I remember the time correctly).

 

I am confident you are right or they would be out of the meat selling business pretty quickly.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I know they clean it frequently. However, can't even  a super clean jacquard  still pick up and deposit internally the bacteria from the outer surface of the meat?  If not, why do they post the safe cooking temp on steaks they Jacquard,  way up from normal medium rare  to 165 ?  Bacteria on the surface of a cut is common on all meats regardless of where you buy them. It can come from the packing plant, handling, contact with working surfaces, pretty much anywhere. It takes only moderate IT to kill the surface bacteria.  I am sure the grinder machines where they prep hamburger are cleaned very frequently as well, but hamburger still has the 165 safe cooking temp because the surface bacteria is deposited internally. It's not whether or not there is bacteria, all meat has some bacteria. It's where the bacteria is or could be that causes the call for a higher temp. Unjaquareded or pierced steak can only have bacteria on the surface and therefore can be safely cooked to a lower more moist and tasty IT. I still buy my meat at Cost Co, they definetly have the best quality and selection in my little town,  but I do not use anything they Jacquard unless I want to take it to the recommended 165 IT..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I happily buy the prime ribeye and tenderlion primals. Some of the prime tenderlions are so well marbled I am shocked when I cut them. 

 

I have a great semi-local butcher, and we do a whole beef buy (grass fed/finished Jersey dry aged 28 days) each year and split it with a friend. That takes care of ground beef, steaks, and roasts for my family. When we have bigger dinners where I want everyone to have the same thing I will go buy a primal. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...