Spinal cord has been found today in a further consignment of imported beef from Holland.

Spinal cord is included in the list of specified risk material (SRM) which is thought to be at greatest risk of carrying BSE infectivity. Under EU rules, it must be removed when the animal is slaughtered.

The discovery today was made at an abattoir in Blackpool, where an 8cm piece of spinal cord was discovered in a forequarter of beef. It was part of a consignment of 53 sides from Brada’s Vleeschbedrijf BV of Leeuwarden, Holland – the same company that sent a consignment to ADM in Eastbourne last Thursday. This consignment also included beef containing spinal cord.

The seizure follows the Food Standards Agency alerting the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) and all local authorities last week, after earlier findings of spinal cord in German beef and the first finding of spinal cord in Dutch beef.

  • The Food Standards Agency is sending to the MHS and all local authorities details of the German and Dutch abattoirs that have breached the BSE controls.

  • The Meat Hygiene Service continues to monitor the volume of imports, and is increasing staffing levels where necessary.

  • The Dutch authorities have been in contact with the Food Standards Agency, and have sent veterinary teams into the Leeuwarden abattoir implicated in last week’s – and today’s – discoveries. They have been given copies of the paperwork accompanying last week’s Dutch consignment.