Untested cow entered food system

A Romanian-born cow aged over 30 months was not tested for BSE before being slaughtered in the UK.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the animal had been imported to the UK in December 2007 and slaughtered at P J King’s abattoir in Whaddon, near Gloucester aged 38˝ months in October last year. BSE testing is mandatory for cattle born in Romania if they are slaughtered for human consumption at over 30 months of age.

The discovery was made in December during routine cross-checks of slaughter and BSE test data. Subsequent checks showed that by the time the mistake was found, the carcase had left the premises and the meat was no longer in the food supply chain.

The FSA said that because specified risk material was removed, and it was unlikely that the cow was infected with BSE, any risk to human health was extremely low.