Beef Recalled for “Remote” Mad Cow Disease Risk

Beef Recalled for “Remote” Mad Cow Disease RiskJune 13, 2014 — Approximately 4,000 pounds of fresh beef are being recalled because there is a remote possibility that they may be infected with Mad Cow Disease, otherwise known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

No adverse events have been reported. The recall was taken as a precautionary measure because a certain part of the cows’ brains were not removed. None of the slaughtered animals displayed signs of BSE.

The producer of the beef, Fruitland American Meat of Jackson, Missouri, recalled bone-in grass-fed rib eyes and two quartered beef carcasses. The meat was shipped to 34 Whole Foods stores in northern Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. None of the meat remains in stores.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (FISIS) reported the Class II recall has a “low” health risk.

The problem was discovered when inspectors reviewed the company’s slaughter logs and found that they were incorrectly recording the age of cows. Cows over 30 months old must have a specific part of their brain removed because they may contain BSE. This part, the basal root ganglia, is in the spine.

Products involved in the recall include:

  • 40-lb. cases containing two, roughly 20-lb. cryovac packages of bone-in “Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye” bearing the establishment number “EST. 2316” inside the USDA mark of inspection with the following 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 printed on the box.
  • Quartered beef carcasses stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and establishment number “EST. 2316.”

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can potentially cause a deadly brain disease in humans. Transmission occurs when people eat the brain, spinal cord, or digestive tract of infected cattle. Symptoms of the disease can take months to appear.

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