Date Published: 1 May 2009

Monthly report of specified risk material and other BSE control breaches

Health Food - illustrating an item from the UK Food Standards Agency.

The following report from the Food Standards Agency provides a monthly update on specified risk material (SRM) finds and related issues. These reports are posted on the Agency’s website normally during the second week of each month.

On 11 March 2009, a report was made to the Meat Hygiene Service by the receiving food business operator of the discovery of a health marked ewe side containing spinal cord. Spinal cord is SRM in sheep aged over 12 months at slaughter or where a permanent incisor has erupted. The side was detained. The other carcasses in the consignment were checked and found to be free from SRM. No SRM entered the food supply as a result of this incident.

Investigations revealed that the animal had been processed on 10 March at JV Richards (Rietfontein) Ltd, a slaughterhouse in Cornwall, where the spinal cord should have been removed before the carcass was consigned to London Central Markets. Measures have been taken to prevent a recurrence.

The receiving organisation, London Central Markets, was not responsible for the breach.

Background on SRM issues:

* SRM is that part of the animal most likely to contain BSE infectivity
* The SRM controls are applied as a precautionary safety measure for sheep. No BSE has been found in the UK sheep flock
* Under European Union law, SRM must be removed as soon as possible after slaughter, stained and disposed of safely


Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.

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