Cow without BSE test enters food chain

The Food Standards Agency has reported that meat from a cow aged over 72 months has entered the supply chain without being tested for BSE.

The cow, aged 74 months and 11 days, was slaughtered at Anglo Dutch Meats (Charing)’s abattoir in Kent, on 11 August 2011. The error was discovered on 6 October in the course of routine cross-checks of slaughter and BSE test data.

According to BSE regulations, the untested cow, plus the one slaughtered before and the two after should not have entered the food supply. However, by the time the failure was discovered, the associated carcases had left the premises.

Subsequent checks indicate that the meat from the carcases was mixed with a large volume of other meat which is no longer in the food supply chain and is likely to have been eaten.

However, the Agency said it was “very unlikely” that the cow was infected with BSE and pointed out that the specified risk material (SRM) was removed, making any risk to human health very low.

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