Two BSE untested heifers enter food chain

Two untested heifers aged over thirty months have entered the food supply without being tested for BSE.

However, the Food Standards Agency said as specified risk material (SRM) was removed in both cases it was unlikely that the heifers were infected with BSE, and any risk to human health was extremely low.

The first heifer was slaughtered on 7 September at R W Newman & Partners abattoir, Farnborough, Hampshire aged three days over 30 months

The FSA said the error was discovered by the MHS on 8 November in the course of routine, cross-checks of slaughter and test data. By then, all the meat (including that from the cattle slaughtered one before and two after, had left the premises and subsequent checks indicate that the affected meat is no longer in the food supply chain.

The second heifer was slaughtered on 10 September at H J Hellett & Sons abattoir, Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire aged three days over 30 months.

This error was discovered by the MHS on 8 November. By then, all the meat had been returned to the owner for domestic consumption and had already been eaten. Additional checks indicate that the meat from the cattle slaughtered one before and two after the untested OTM heifer had been sold to the final consumer by the time the error came to light.

The FSA has said a full investigation into the circumstances of both incidents is under way.

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