Summary of the eRumor An email message alerting
readers to the existence of mechanically separated meats such as
chicken and turkey.
The writer says it is a carcass stripped of everything except
tissue, immature sex glands, and bone and asks, "Shouldn't
consumers be made aware of what mechanically separated chicken
According to the U.S.Food Safety and
Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, mechanically
separated meets are the real thing and are safe.
Very simply, mechanical separation is a way of getting every last
piece of meat from the bone of a chicken, turkey, or other food
Bones with edible meat attached are forced under high pressure
through a device that separates the bone from the meat.
It's a process that's been used since the 1960's and for a variety
of popular products.
A statement from the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service says
mechanically separated products are "safe, wholesome, nutritious, and useful in providing
consumers with the wide variety of economical meat and poultry
We have not been able to find any reference to the carcass
specifically having "immature sex glands."
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Do you know what MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN (or mechanically
separated turkey, or pork) is? You may think it is just chicken that is
separated mechanically, right? NOPE! It is actually the stripped carcass
of the bird. Stripped as in all meat has been removed and the only thing
left is the tissue, immature sex glands and bone. They take this carcass
and, at a high temperature, push it through a sieve. This creates a gray
past that then can be used in foods. I was appalled to learn this. I was
even more appalled when I learned it is found in most pantries. For
example, CAMPBELL'S CREAM OF CHICKEN, most frozen meatballs, some deli
meats, just about all chicken and turkey franks, turkey bacon etc.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: It is also a major component of one of my favorite
comfort foods: Slim Jims.) My question: why would companies like
Campbell's be using mechanically separated chicken in Cream of Chicken
soup? It doesn't contain an enormous amount of chicken that Campbell's
feel they need to cut corners. And shouldn't consumers be made aware of
what mechanically separated chicken is? Maybe you can help get the word
out. I think you will surprise MANY of your readers. (ediets.com