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Needle-Tenderized Steaks to Require New Labels in U.S.

About a quarter of the beef sold in the U.S. is tenderized by manufacturers using needles or blades, an unlabeled treatment that regulators say contributes to contamination with E. coli and other pathogens.

Beginning as soon as next year, companies will have to disclose on their labels whether their raw or partially cooked steaks, roasts and other cuts of beef have been “mechanically tenderized,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed today. The labels will also have to include cooking instructions to help protect consumers.