Food agency admits BSE error
The Food Standards Agency this week revealed that meat has entered the food supply from a cow aged over 48 months that had not been tested for BSE.
However, it goes on to say that it’s unlikely that the cow was infected with BSE and, as specified risk material was removed, any risk to human health is extremely low. Nevertheless, a negative BSE test result is mandatory for cattle over 48 months of age slaughtered for human consumption.
The cow was aged one day over 48 months when slaughtered on 9 July at G & GB Hewitt Ltd abattoir in Chester. The error was discovered on 24 August in the course of routine cross-checks of slaughter and BSE test data.
According to BSE regulations, the untested cow, the animal slaughtered before and the two slaughtered after must not enter the food supply. However, by the time the failure was discovered, all of the associated carcasses had left the premises.
Subsequent checks traced one small batch of meat that has since been destroyed and indicate that the rest of the meat from the carcasses is no longer in the food supply chain.