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From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. (
Subject: NEW!-BSE Information- Removal of Tonsils in Cattle
Date: January 1, 2005 at 2:34 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: NEW!-BSE Information- Removal of Tonsils in Cattle
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2005 14:59:30 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

NEW!-BSE Information- Removal of Tonsils in Cattle

IKE Scenario 06-04 Illustration of FSIS Notice 50-04 Concerning Tonsils

FSIS Notice 50-04 describes one possible method that establishments may
incorporate into their written SRM procedures for the removal of visible
tonsils. 9 CFR 310.22 states that the tonsils of all cattle are
specified risk material (SRM) and that establishments that slaughter
cattle and establishments that process the carcasses or parts of cattle
shall develop, implement, and maintain written procedures for the
removal, segregation, and disposal of specified risk materials in their
HACCP, SSOP, or other prerequisite programs. The Notice also describes
Inspection Program Personnels (IPP) ongoing responsibilities in the
verification of the establishments written procedures. This IKE
Scenario is an illustration of the establishment and IPP responsibilities.

You are the Public Health Veterinarian (PHV) at establishment 38 M, a
large cattle slaughter facility who has their written SRM removal
procedures incorporated into their HACCP plan. This facility harvests
beef tongues and tongue trimmings for edible purposes. You are in the
process of correlating with a newly promoted consumer safety inspector
(CSI, GS-8) in the verification procedures for SRM removal, segregation,
and disposal in accordance with 9 CFR 310.22 as part of the scheduled
03J01 procedure for the day. You instruct the GS-8 that verification of
SRM removal should begin with a review of the establishment's written
plan. Correlation on this day will focus specifically on verification of
tonsil removal, for which you have also discussed FSIS Notice 50-04 and
reviewed 9 CFR 310.22. Your review of the establishment's written
procedure reveals that their procedures meet the regulatory requirements
of 9 CFR 310.22. At this time, the establishment has opted to follow the
guidance regarding the transverse cut provided in FSIS Notice 50-04 to
remove visible tonsils from the tongue and its associated tissues.

After reviewing the plant's written procedure, you and the CSI decide to
verify the plant's actual execution of this program. While touring the
kill floor you observe plant personnel making the cuts in accordance
with their written procedure, and disposing of the SRMs (palatine and
lingual tonsils) in a manner consistent with 9 CFR 310.22. You also
examine several pieces portions of tongue and tongue trimmings to see if
the plant is effectively removing visible portions of the tonsil, and
you conclude that this is being performed satisfactorily. Finally, it is
determined that the records documenting the removal of these SRMS meet
regulatory requirements. You mark the PBIS 03J01 procedure as
performed. Note: Tongue trimmings are not SRM as long as they do not
contain visible tonsil material

After returning to the USDA office, the plant manager comes to discuss a
new procedure for the removal of tonsils from tongues currently being
performed at a neighboring facility. As a critical thinker, you inform
plant management that what is required is the removal of visible
tonsils. You go on to state that there may be ways to accomplish this
other than the method explained in Notice 50-04, and explain that the
continued focus of FSIS verification will be the successful
implementation of the establishment's written protocol designed to
remove, segregate, and dispose of visible tonsils.

The above scenario outlines several of the key elements of FSIS
verification of an establishment's system designed to remove, segregate,
and dispose of SRMs. These elements involve written procedures in their
HACCP, SSOP, or other prerequisite programs, adequate execution of the
procedures, as well as a recordkeeping component. It also demonstrates
that, when applied specifically to the removal of tonsils in cattle,
establishments are required to remove the visible portion of the lingual
and palatine tonsils; FSIS Notice 50-04 describes only one possible
method that accomplishes this.


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