Food Law News - UK - 2001

FSA Press Release (2001/0103), 2 April 2001

BSE - Further Discovery of Spinal Cord in Imported Beef from Germany

Spinal cord has been discovered for the seventh time this year in beef imported from Germany into the UK. Bovine spinal cord is classified as specified risk material (SRM) and is therefore among those parts of the animal most likely to contain BSE infectivity. Under European law, SRM must be removed immediately after slaughter and disposed of safely.

The latest discovery was made on Friday (30th March) in two out of 203 forequarters of beef which were being unpacked at Anglo-Dutch Meats (ADM), Eastbourne, Sussex. ADM were unaware of the problem. The meat was health-marked as fit for human consumption, and certified as coming from animals under 30 months of age. It arrived in Eastbourne from Fleischzentrum Wilhelmshaven, A Bremer Schlachthof GmbH, Am Schlachthof 8, Wilhelmshaven. The two forequarters were detained and will be destroyed.

This latest violation has been raised with the German Federal Ministry of Health, and with the European Commission. All German beef imported into the UK has been subject to 100 per cent inspection since 29th January this year, due to earlier lapses by German abattoirs in abiding by the BSE controls.

The Meat Hygiene Service and all local authorities, who have responsibility for inspecting beef imports, have been given the name of the Wilhelmshaven premises to add to the list of six other German abattoirs from which beef containing spinal cord has been imported into the UK.

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