8 January 2001
Australia bans European beef

AUSTRALIAN supermarkets must remove all European beef products from their shelves following concern over the spread of BSE in Europe.

The Federal Government ban, which is effective from Monday (08 January), applies to goods such as salami, corned beef and pate from 30 countries.

Australian chief medical officer Professor Richard Smallwood told The Age newspaper that cattle in many European countries could have BSE.

“The risk to the health of Australians from the consumption of these products is extremely small.

“However, we need to keep one step ahead of the BSE situation that is causing great concern in the UK and the rest of Europe,” Prof Smallwood told the newspaper.

Consumers have been advised to get rid of European beef products and the grocery industry has been asked to begin withdrawing the products.

European beef products comprise only 0.2% of beef consumed annually in Australia.

The Australian New Zealand Food Authority said it would examine regulations to ensure that imported beef and beef products were BSE-free.

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