Food Engineering

On guard against BSE

February 5, 2004


The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) implemented new rules to safeguard against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). The rules include:

Product Holding: FSIS inspectors will no longer mark cattle tested for BSE as "inspected and passed" until confirmation is received that the cattle have, in fact, tested negative for BSE.

Specified Risk Material: FSIS is declaring that skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia, eyes, vertebral column, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia of cattle 30 months of age or older and the small intestine of all cattle are specified risk materials and are prohibiting their use in the human food supply.

Advanced Meat Recovery: AMR is a technology that removes muscle tissue from the bone of beef carcasses under high pressure without incorporating bone material. AMR product can be labeled as "meat." FSIS has previously established and enforced regulations that prohibit spinal cord from being included in products labeled as "meat."

Air-Injection Stunning: To ensure that portions of the brain are not dislocated into the tissues of the carcass as a consequence of humanely stunning cattle during the slaughter process, FSIS is issuing an interim final rule to ban the practice of air-injection stunning.

For more information visit www.fsis.usda.gov.