6 September 2002

Spinal cord found in French beef is seized in Britain

A CONSIGNMENT of French beef containing banned specified risk material has been seized after it was imported into Britain.

The material should have been removed in keeping with BSE control measures, but Meat Hygiene Service officials confirmed that spinal cord was discovered in three out of 180 quarter-carcasses of French frozen beef.

The BSE-risk beef, found on Aug 28, was shipped by OVIMPEX Daumeaup. The abattoir of origin was Ets Soviba Sud in Saint Maixent, Deux-Sävres in western France.

It is the first time France has breached rules on specified risk materials. But in the last 18 months, beef containing banned material has entered the UK from Germany, Holland, Eire, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and Poland.

The Food Standards Agency said the three beef quarters from France had been detained for disposal under the supervision of the Meat Hygiene Service. The rest of the consignment was checked by the MHS but was found to be in full compliance with the relevant legislation.

The Chief Veterinary Officer of France and the EU Commission have been notified of this breach, said the FSA.

In a separate incident, spinal cord was found in a batch of frozen German beef being unloaded in Eastbourne. &#42