Reuters — A Missouri slaughterhouse recalled 1,800 kg of fresh beef over concerns that nervous tissue that could contain the BSE pathogen may not have been properly removed from the meat before shipment, a federal food safety agency said.
The recalled bone-in ribeye roasts and quartered carcasses from Jackson, Missouri-based Fruitland American Meat were delivered to restaurants in New York City and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as a Whole Foods distribution centre in Connecticut that services the region, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement Wednesday.
The agency said no adverse events had been reported. Officials at the agency did not immediately respond to request for comment on Thursday.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the problem during a review of the company’s slaughter logs. Reviewers found the firm may not have removed dorsal root ganglia tissue from cattle aged 30 months and older, in violation of federal regulations.
That tissue is on the list of specified risk materials (SRMs) as it can contain the pathogen responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in affected cows. The disease is transmissible to humans and can be fatal.
The agency rated the health risk of the recall as low in the statement.
Fourth vCJD case
In April, a Texas man became the fourth person in the country to die of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a fatal brain illness thought to be caused by BSE, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
An autopsy of the man’s brain after his death has confirmed vCJD, the CDC said in a release last week. The variant is not to be confused with “classic” CJD, which occurs worldwide, develops in one to two people per year for every million people in the U.S., and is not related to BSE.
In the previous three cases of vCJD in the U.S., the CDC said, infection likely occurred outside the country. They included two people who had spent time in the U.K. and one in Saudi Arabia.
“The history of this fourth patient, including extensive travel to Europe and the Middle East, supports the likelihood that infection occurred outside the U.S.,” the CDC said.
The CDC said it would continue to help confirm further details of the patient’s history, “including the potential source of infection.”
— Reporting for Reuters by Curtis Skinner in New York. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.