Misidentified cow entered UK food chain

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been notified that a cow believed to have been born before 1 August 1996 has entered the human food chain.

FSA regulations on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) demand that meat from cattle born or reared in the United Kingdom before Aug.1, 1996, cannot be put on the market.

In this case the cow in question is believed to have been misidentified as being born in May 1997 at a Welsh farm, as supported by DNA test results received Jan. 16, 2007.

The animal was sent from the farm to Ensors Abattoir, a facility that is licensed to slaughter cattle more than 30 months old for human consumption. The meat from the cow was delivered on Nov. 6 to a butcher's shop.

According to FSA officials this cow was tested negative for BSE and specified risk material was removed, thus any public health risk arising from this possible failure in BSE controls would be low.

Although the cow was slaughtered on 19 October 2006, the possible identification error was not discovered until 12 December. Investigations into this incident are ongoing.