Food Law News - UK - 2002

FSA Press Release, 10 April 2002

BEEF - Spinal Cord Found in Imported Spanish Beef

Spinal cord has been found in beef imported from Spain 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 Wednesday (3 April 2002) in two quarters out of 330 quarters of beef in a mixed consignment imported from France, comprising beef from Austria, Germany and Spain, being unloaded at Cumberland Meats, Coventry . The receiving company was not responsible for the problem.

The two quarters found to contain SRM were labelled as coming from Spain. A third quarter, also labelled as coming from Spain, had not been fully split along its length, as required by EC regulations. It has been detained because it has not met those regulations. The three beef quarters came from Fricona La Carne Gallega, Almeiras, La Coruna, Spain.

The beef quarters involved have been detained under the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations pending possible inspection by the Spanish authorities or supplier and subsequent disposal under the supervision of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS). The remainder of the consignment, 327 quarters, was checked by the MHS and found to be in full compliance with the relevant legislation. The Chief Veterinary Officer of Spain and the European Commission have been notified of this breach.

In testing for BSE in Spain, there were 38 positive tests out of 370,064 apparently healthy animals tested between January 2001 and January 2002.

To go to main Food Law Index page,
click here.