Meat glue, transglutaminase, is used to bind inferior cuts of meat together to create things like steaks, imitation crab meat salads & luncheon meat cuts.
It is a naturally occurring enzyme made from cow or pig blood proteins. As in the photo, these 4 meat scraps were “glued” together, wrapped tightly and allowed to sit overnight so that the appropriate fermentation and bonding could occur. The round cuts of “meat” are sold as tenderloin.
The danger here is that any pathogens present on the outside of each meat piece will end up on the inside of the bonded product. While cooking will destroy bacteria on the outer part – any “steak” if eaten raw – could contain illness-causing bacteria on the inside.
According to FDA regulations, meat glued steaks for sale in a grocery would have to be labeled as such.
You’re likely to find meat pieced together with transglutaminase in a restaurant, catering business, banquet hall or buffet where meat is served in vast amounts.
Watch this informative video: