TB Transmission: Ireland Review Food Chain

IRELAND - The Irish Scientific Committee has provided new information on the potential for zoonotic tuberculosis to spread through the food chain.
calendar icon 14 April 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

This new document contains updated information on tuberculosis caused by bacteria that are collectively referred to as the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and include Mycobacterium bovis.

M.bovis, which causes tuberculosis in cattle and some other ruminants can also cause tuberculosis in man. The primary means of foodborne transmission is via meat, milk and dairy products. M.bovis is still a major problem in the Irish dairy and cattle industries where approximately 10,000 herds are restricted each year due to the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

Having reviewed the available evidence, the Scientific Committee concluded that the risk from meat subjected to official inspection is low whilst pasteurisation is identified as a pivotal control to reduce the risks in milk and dairy products. Therefore, the Committee highlighted concerns over the consumption of unpasteurised milk and dairy products made from unpasteurised milk, like cheese. The report provides several recommendations aimed at controlling the safety of meat, milk and dairy products from the hazards posed by M.bovis.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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