Two goats that tested positive for scrapie entered the food supply following an error at the testing laboratory.
Scrapie is a disease found in sheep and goats and is similar to BSE. However, there is no known risk to humans from eating meat from scrapie infected animals. In addition, the parts of the animal most likely to contain infectivity were removed before entering the human food chain.
The two animals were slaughtered as part of a batch of 26 goats on 21 January 2013 at Melton Meat Ltd, a slaughterhouse in Leicestershire. This was part of the Compulsory Scrapie Flocks Scheme, which allows undiagnosed animals from flocks affected by scrapie to be monitored for the disease at slaughter.
The slaughterhouse took the required samples from all the goats slaughtered that day and received the test results from LGC Runcorn, an approved testing laboratory, on 22 January. On 23 January, the results identified two positive samples and those carcasses were destroyed. The remaining carcasses were immediately released for sale. However, on 25 January LGC notified the FSA that an error had occurred at the laboratory and the wrong carcasses were identified as positive. The two positive carcasses were sold direct to two private customers from Melton Meat Ltd’s on site shop. These were cash sales and it was not possible to identify the customers and retrieve the meat.
LGC has carried out their its internal investigation regarding the reasons for the error at its laboratory. Melton Meat Ltd was not responsible for the positive animals entering the food chain.