March 28, 2015

Canada Confirms New Case of Mad Cow


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed its first case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a beef cow since 2011 and the fourteenth case since 2005. The government says that no part of the animal's carcass entered the human or animal food systems. These cases, in addition to the consumers' right to know, are one reason consumer's advocates want to see country of origin labels (COOL) on imported meats. The beef cow was from Alberta, Canada. BSE is a progressive, fatal disease with no cure. It is caused by proteins called prions that are not destroyed by cooking. The prions are also very resistant to UV radiation, disinfectants, and ionizing radiation, but can be destroyed by a combination of those treatments and time. The disease has a … [Read more...]

Bubier Meats of Maine Recalls Beef for BSE Risk


Bubier Meats of Greene, Maine is recalling 25,192 pounds of beef for possible bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk.  BSE is also known as mad cow disease. No illnessees have been reported in association with this recall. The problem was discovered by states health officials during a routine records review of slaughter logs.  They describe the problem as a low risk. The recalled meats were sold from November 2013  to August 2014 at Rosemont Markets in Portland and Yarmouth, and Maine Meat in Kittery.  The recalled products were processed into smaller cuts at these locations and sold without identification on consumer packaging.   … [Read more...]

Ribeye and Beef Carcass Recalled for BSE Risk Materials

Bone-in Ribeye Steak

Fruitland American Meat of Missouri is recalling about 4,012 pounds of fresh beef products because the dorsal root ganglia may not have been completely removed. That material is considered a risk for BSE, or mad cow disease, and agency regulations state it must be removed in products made from cattle older than 30 months. The products being recalled are 40 pound cases containing two 20 pound packages of bone-in "Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye" with these production dates: 9/5/13, 9/10/13, 9/11/13, 9/26/13, 10/2/13, 10/3/2013, 11/8/13, 11/22/13, 12/17/13, 12/26/13, 12/27/13,1/16/14, 1/17/14, 1/23/14, 1/31/14, 2/13/14, 2/14/14, 2/21/14, 2/28/14, 3/8/14, 3/20/14, 4/4/14 or 4/25/14. The dates are printed on the box. Also recalled are quartered beef carcasses. All products have the establishment … [Read more...]

In Texas, Man Died From Variant CJD

Not everyone uses calorie counts at fast food restaurants

According to the CDC, lab tests have confirmed a diagnosis of variant CJD in a patient who recently died in Texas. Variant CJD is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder caused by consumption of products from cattle with mad cow disease. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, has been a problem in many countries for decades. The disease was first reported in 1996, with 229 patients from 12 countries. According to the CDC, from 1996 to June 2, 2014, variant CJD cases have occurred in these countries: 77 from the United Kingdom, 27 from France, 5 from Spain, 4 from Ireland, 4 from the United States, 3 from the Netherlands, 2 from Portugal, 2 from Italy, 2 from Canada and one each from Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Scientists believe mad cow disease is caused … [Read more...]

Mad Cow Emerges in Germany


At least one case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease, has been confirmed in Germany. That country has claimed for years that its country was free of BSE, but they were wrong. Public health officials claim that the cow was killed and none of it entered the food chain. Germany instituted "high standards" for animal feed, but traces of meat and bone meal were found in cattle feed recently. A 1994 European Union ban on feeding ruminants meat by-products was supposed to eliminate those ingredients. The cow was 10 years old, and tested positive for atypical BSE, which develops spontaneously in older cows. It had seven offspring. Five have already been slaughtered, and two others were on the same farm. They have been tested and killed. The herd is … [Read more...]

USDA Relaxes Regulations for Mad Cow Beef Imports


Last week, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its intention to publish a rule that would allow some beef to be imported from countries that have experienced cases of mad cow disease. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a progressive neurological disorder that is caused by eating a prion protein from infected beef. The prion is not destroyed by cooking. The agency says this is a "modernization" of import regulations. Food & Water Watch released a statement about this decision. Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of that agency, said, "This seems to be another case of trade trumping food safety. This development comes as the reopening of beef trade with Europe has been an issue under discussion in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment … [Read more...]

Bone-in Ribeye Recalled for BSE Risk Materials


Triple J Family Farms of Minnesota is recalling about 15,270 pounds of bone-in ribeye because the vertebral column may not have been completely removed, which makes it a risk for BSE. The problem was discovered by FSIS during a Specified Risk Material (SRM) verification. A recent change in the company's carcass separation practices may have caused the problem. Vertebral material may contain the infective agent in cattle with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, otherwise known as Mad Cow disease. The recalled products are 40-pound boxes of "BEEF B/I RIB" bearing any of these case codes: "91-R109H-C," "91-R109H-S," "91-R109H-C-SB," or "91-R109H-S-SB". The products have the establishment number "EST. 17466" inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were made and packaged between February 8, … [Read more...]

FDA Asking for Comment on Mad Cow Risk in Cow Parts


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking for comments on its rule for cow parts that may be used to make human products. The interim rule, "Use of Materials Derived from Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics" was published in 2005. It would allow the use of some cattle-derrived material, but prohibits the use of materials that can carry the infectious agent for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. The rule was based on research that showed that part of the cow's digestive tract called the distal ileum, which is a reservoir for BSE, can be safely removed from other parts of the small intestine.  That meant that the entire small intestine was no longer designated as "prohibited cattle material" and other parts could be used to make products for human … [Read more...]

House’s Butchering Recalls All Beef Produced in 2011 and 2012

Cubes of raw beef

House's Butchering LLC in Ohio is recalling all beef slaughtered from 2011 to 2012 because they may contain spinal cord and vertebral column materials. The beef is classified as a "low health risk" by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, but the USDA also says that "product containing spinal cord tissue is not allowed to be called meat." In fact, those tissues are called "Specified Risk Materials" and can harbor the infectious agent that causes Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also called Mad Cow Disease. Products recalled include "all beef slaughtered and processed at House's Butchering LLC from January 1, 2011 to December 28, 2012. The products may have the Ohio Department of Agriculture mark of inspection and "Est. 54" within the symbol outline of Ohio. The products … [Read more...]

Japan Eases Cattle Restrictions on U.S. Imports


The Japanese government decided yesterday to ease restrictions it has placed on U.S. beef imports. Restrictions put in place in 2006 that partially opened the markets did not allow the import of beef from cattle older than 20 months; the industry standard is 30 months. The agreement, dated January 25, 2013, requires that the U.S. must "meet or exceed" World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines to be considered controlled risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In addition, U.S. meat establishments should be certified as eligible to export meat to Japan, and the Japanese government may conduct on-site audits of the U.S. inspection system. In 2003, Japan banned U.S. beef completely after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state in 2003. Secretary … [Read more...]

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