Meat from untested Over Thirty Month (OTM) bull enters the food supply
Thursday 1 November 2007
The Agency has been notified that beef has entered the food supply from an OTM without being tested for BSE. As specified risk material was removed, any risk to human health is extremely low. However, testing is mandatory for cattle over thirty months of age slaughtered for human consumption.
The bull, was nine days over 30 months when slaughtered on 30 August 2007 at Pembrokeshire Meat Company’s abattoir in Haverfordwest. The error was discovered on 9 October in the course of routine, computerised cross-checks of slaughter and test data.
All the meat from the bull was returned to the owner of the animal for domestic consumption. The owner has been advised that the risk of exposure to BSE from eating the meat is likely to be extremely low in this particular case and that he must not supply any of the remaining meat to any other parties.
A product-recall was issued for the meat from the cattle slaughtered one before and two after the untested OTM bull, but it is believed all had already been consumed and can no longer be separately identified.
OTM cattle are allowed to enter the food supply provided they have tested negative for BSE. If there is no negative test result, the carcasse, the one before and two after on the slaughter line must be condemned.
Since 7 November 2005, over 800,000 OTM cattle have been slaughtered in the UK for human consumption.
This is the fifth occasion the Agency is aware of when an OTM bovine has entered the food supply untested.
Specified risk material is those parts of the animal that contain almost all BSE infectivity.