Food Law News - UK - 2002

FSA Press Release, 15 February 2002

BSE - Spinal cord found in imported Dutch beef

Spinal cord has been found in beef imported from the Netherlands 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, stained, and disposed of safely.

The discovery was made on Thursday (14 February 2002) in one out of 148 quarters of beef being unloaded at ADM Ltd, Eastbourne. The receiving company was not responsible for the problem. The beef came from Brada's Vleeschbedrijf BV in the Netherlands. It is the third breach by the Dutch abattoir concerned.

The beef quarter involved has been detained under the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations in order that the Dutch authorities may inspect it and for subsequent disposal under the supervision of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS). The rest of the consignment was checked by the MHS and found to be in full compliance with the relevant legislation.

The Chief Veterinary Officer of the Netherlands and the European Commission have been notified of this breach. In testing for BSE in the Netherlands, there were only 11 positive tests out of 454,649 animals tested between January and December last year.

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