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From: TSS ()
Subject: Monthly report of specified risk material and other BSE control breaches for November 2005
Date: December 21, 2005 at 8:37 pm PST

Monthly report of specified risk material and other BSE control breaches for November 2005

Wednesday 21 December 2005

The following report from the Food Standards Agency provides a monthly update on specified risk material (SRM) finds and related issues. These SRM reports are posted on the Agency’s website normally during the second week of each month.

All the meat detailed in this report has been detained for disposal under the supervision of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS). Therefore none of this meat has entered the food supply.
Email alerts for these reports and other BSE stories can be obtained by signing up via the website at ‘email updates/specialist information/BSE’.

Import SRM breaches
On 30 November the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) reported the discovery of vertebral column in a consignment of fresh beef ribs from the Republic of Ireland. As the evidence suggests that these cuts of meat are likely to have been from bovine animals aged over 12 months at slaughter – the age threshold for vertebral column removal that applies to all cattle originating from other Member States – this is a breach of SRM controls.

Thirty boxes, 480kg of fresh beef, were detained at London Central Markets, Smithfield. The receiving plant in the UK was not responsible for the problem. The Chief Veterinary Officer in the Republic of Ireland has been notified of this import breach.

Domestic SRM breaches
On 23 November the MHS discovered SRM (spinal cord) in two unsplit ewe carcasses among a consignment of lamb carcasses at Smithfield Market, sent from a meat plant in Wrexham, Wales.

One carcass has been confirmed as coming from an animal aged over 12 months. The evidence suggests that the other carcass is also likely to have been from an animal aged over 12 months. The carcasses should, therefore, have been split and the SRM removed, stained and destroyed. The receiving plant was not responsible for the problem. The initial investigation is now complete and the necessary follow-up action is being pursued.

Background on SRM issues

SRM is that part of the animal most likely to contain BSE infectivity

the SRM controls remove over 99% of BSE infectivity that may be present in cattle

under European Union (EU) law, SRM must be removed as soon as possible after slaughter, stained and disposed of safely

SRM is removed from sheep carcasses in the UK and throughout the EU on a precautionary basis. BSE has not been found to occur naturally in sheep

under EU legislation, spinal cord in sheep aged over 12 months of age is classified as SRM because if BSE was ever found to be present in sheep, it would be one of the parts of the animal that would be most likely to contain BSE

removal of all SRM would reduce the possible risk by about a third if BSE were present in sheep

Finds of specified risk material in imported beef and sheepmeat 2005

UK breaches of SRM controls


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