More than 4,000 pounds of beef are being recalled because of potential risk of mad cow disease.
The US Department of Agriculture said that some of the potentially contaminated beef from Fruitland American Meat, based in Jackson, MO, was sent to a Whole Foods Market distribution center in Connecticut. That center serves all Whole Foods stores in New England.
The USDA said no cattle showed signs of mad cow disease, also called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), and that the health risk is “low.”
The issue is that the dorsal root ganglia may not have been completely removed from the cattle, which is not compliant with agency regulations.
According to the USDA:
“The problem was discovered by FSIS during a review of company slaughter logs. The problem may have occurred as a result of the way some company employees were recording information and determining the age of various cattle. Dorsal root ganglia, branches of the nervous system located in the vertebral column are considered specified risk materials (SRMs) and must be removed from cattle 30 months of age and older in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that may contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.”