Date Published: 21 May 2009

Three cattle from same herd as BSE-infected cow have entered food chain

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

The Agency has been informed that meat from three cows reared in the same herd as one that later developed BSE has entered the human food chain. Meat from the cow that had developed BSE did not enter the food chain.

Any possible risk to public health is negligible, as all three cows tested negative for BSE and specified risk material (SRM) was removed. SRM is the parts of the carcass most at risk of carrying BSE infectivity.

EU rules require that cattle born or reared in the same herd as a BSE case and which may have eaten the same feed as the BSE case during their first year of life (known as cohorts) should be killed and the carcass destroyed.

This rule is intended primarily to help eradicate BSE but also provides further protection to consumers in addition to the SRM controls and BSE testing.

The Agency has advised that voluntarily-retained meat and meat products that included material from the cohort carcasses must be withdrawn from the distribution chain and destroyed.

One of the cohort carcasses was exported to the Republic of Ireland. Skirt, cheek and tongue from another of the cohorts were exported as part of a large consignment to France. The authorities in both countries have been informed.

However, tracing carried out by the Food Standards Agency indicates that most of the meat is likely to have been consumed.


Source: Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK.

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