Meat processing establishments still make many mistakes which exposes consumers to mad cow disease more than they would care to know about.
Elkhorn Valley Packing LLC, a Harper, Kan., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 406,000 pounds of frozen cattle heads with tonsils not completely removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
Tonsils are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle of all ages in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with BSE, as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent. Food Safety and Inspection Service Link
The incubation period for the human form of mad cow disease is still unknown.
Two people have, according to this story, died in Spain from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human form of mad cow disease, the health department at the regional Castilla-Leon government said on Monday. Reuters Link
Here's a case of a young woman who might be dying of the human form of mad cow disease and she has never left the country.
A 22-year-old Portsmouth woman is close to dying, and family says doctors believe the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease could be the reason. FOX Link
Federal food assisance establishments were audited by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Five out of 18 slaughterhouses were out of compliance.
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has audited humane handling practices at 18 slaughter facilities under contract with federal food assistance programs, issuing a Notice of Suspension to one, non-compliance records to three and a Letter of Concern to another. Cattle Network Link
The United Kingdom isn't the only country with deaths from CJD or human form of mad cow.
In 2005, the first case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) was reported in Spain, in a woman born in 1978 with clinical onset of symptoms in 2004 . She subsequently died in 2005.
Recently, two more laboratory-confirmed vCJD cases were reported to the Spanish CJD state registry. Eurosurveillance Link
However, the UK has problems with 100% compliance also.
The Agency has been notified that meat and offal from an untested cow aged over thirty months (OTM) has entered the food supply.
As specified risk material (SRM) was removed, and it is unlikely that the animal was infected with BSE, any risk to human health is very low. However, BSE testing is mandatory for cattle slaughtered for human consumption at over thirty months of age. Food Standards Agency Link
More to come tomorrow. It's getting late.