Food Standards Agency prosecutor Lee Fish told the court: “The spinal cord is linked to BSE, which is why it is very tightly regulated. It has to be removed before being sent off for human consumption.
"A small piece of the cord was spotted by an inspector during the last stages of production on 5 June last year. He was inspecting the final carcases and noticed a small piece of spinal cord attached to a neck.”
In mitigation, it was said that procedures at the abattoir were very efficient and that there had never been any danger that the meat would get into the food chain.
The company was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.