Meat derived from the offspring of a cow known to have had BSE has reached the food chain, but the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has urged the public not to panic.

The risk to the public is low, insisted the FSA, despite the fears surrounding infection of mad cow disease and its human equivalent vCJD.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) informed the FSA that the 29-month-old animal in question was slaughtered in a Welsh abattoir last November. It has since entered the food chain and been sold to consumers.