Beef Recalled over Anthrax Scare

EU - The Dutch food safety authority NVWA has recalled a batch of beef from the market over fears that it is contaminated with anthrax.
calendar icon 24 October 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

The meat was delivered to the Netherlands from a cutting plant in Poland and consisted of Polish and Slovakian carcase parts.

Part of the consignment could have contained meat from two carcases that were imported from Slovakia from a farm, where it was later discovered that anthrax was present.

The Dutch Food and Product Safety Authority NVWA said that the risk to consumers was very small, but it directed the company to recall the meat from the market because it does not meet food safety standards.

The cattle were slaughtered on 19 September in Poland and meat inspection before and after slaughter found no abnormalities.

On 27 September, more than a week after the slaughter anthrax was found on one of the holdings in Slovakia that had supplied two of the cattle.

The incubation period for anthrax in cattle is three to seven days.

NVWA said: “It is unlikely that an animal is already contagious during the incubation period, but this cannot be completely ruled out.”

The incubation period in humans is one to seven days and cattle are significantly more susceptible to anthrax than humans and research indicates that a person must ingest a large amount of meat to become ill.

The Slovakian carcases from the Prestov farm in the shipment, which was in total 7349.9 kg, came to 365.12kg.

This meat has been taken off the market.

The remaining 6984.78 kg was delivered to 19 companies in the Netherlands and 26 companies in Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, France, Portugal and Italy.

The food safety authorities in the various countries have been informed of the situation.

Further Reading

Find out more information on Anthrax by clicking here.

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