Unchecked cow enters food supply

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a warning that a bullock slaughtered near Sheffield has entered the food chain without being tested for BSE.

The FSA was notified that the bullock, which was aged over 48 months, was slaughtered on 17 April 2009 at N Bramall & Sons abattoir in Oxspring, near Sheffield. Specified risk material (SRM) was removed, however, and it is thought unlikely that the bullock was be infected with BSE.

The error was said to be discovered on 18 June during routine cross-checks of slaughter and BSE test data, but by then, all of the affected meat and offal had left the slaughterhouse. Subsequent checks, the FSA has confirmed, indicate that all of the product remained within the UK and is likely to have been consumed.

SRM is those parts of the carcase at risk of carrying BSE infectivity and any risk to human health is thought to be extremely low, the FSA added.