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TB infected beef being sold to slaughterhouses?

01 July 2013

Diseased meat is being secretly sold off by the Government for human consumption, according to The Daily Record.

The newspaper reports that Defra, the food and farming ministry, is making £10million a year from selling on meat that has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis to slaughterhouses. It claims the process has been going on for at least six years and, although Scotland is officially free of bTB, meat from infected cattle could still find its way into meat products.

The Food Standards Agency confirmed once food has been passed as fit for human consumption, it can be taken anywhere in the UK.

The raw meat, from around 28,000 diseased animals per year, is banned by most supermarkets and burger chains. But it is being sold by slaughterhouses to caterers and food processors.

The meat is then used in food for schools, hospitals and the military. Defra sell the meat without anything to warn processors or consumers that it comes from bTB infected cattle.

A department spokesman insisted the meat was safe, saying: “All meat from cattle slaughtered due to bovine TB must undergo rigorous food safety checks before it can be passed fit for consumption.

“There are no known cases where TB has been transmitted through eating meat.”
But Dr Martin Wiselka, an expert in infectious diseases, said: “The risk is small but I wouldn’t want to eat meat from an animal that had TB.”

The FSA said any infected areas were removed from carcasses before the meat was declared safe to enter the food chain.


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