Food Standards Agency
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Cow aged over 48 months enters food supply without being tested for BSE

The Agency has been notified that a 58 months old cow has entered the food supply without being tested for BSE. BSE testing is mandatory for cattle slaughtered for human consumption at over 48 months of age.

However, as all the specified risk material (SRM) was removed, and it is unlikely that the cow was infected with BSE, any risk to human health is very low. SRM is those parts of the animal that contain almost all BSE infectivity.

The cow was slaughtered on 28 July 2009 at Dunbia abattoir in Dungannon. The error was discovered by Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) when a routine annual herd TB test revealed that the cow had been misidentified.

DARD has now established the correct identity and age of the cow slaughtered on 28 July. Checks indicate that all the meat and other products from the untested cow are likely to have been eaten.

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