Northern Irish meat plant accuses government officials of botched BSE testing procedure

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Northern Ireland meat plant at the centre of a beef product recall has accused government officials of failing to ensure that the BSE testing procedure was followed.
calendar icon 16 November 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
A spokesman for Dunbia Meats in Dungannon blamed the Northern Ireland department of agriculture for the breakdown on 25 October, which allowed beef from a 54-month-old cow to enter the food chain without first passing a test for BSE.

"I'm assured by the FSA that the risk to the public is extremely low. This should never have happened," said the spokesman, adding that it could have cost the company tens of thousands of pounds and caused damage to its image.

In all, 43t of beef were recalled or withheld from the market including liver, steak and mince products supplied by the meat company to Asda and the Co-op.

Mistake

Dunbia believed that the cow had been presented by mistake to the abattoir within a batch of younger cattle on a day when only under-30-month cattle were being slaughtered.

On arrival at the meat plant the animals were penned and the tags were checked by the veterinary official, but the older animal was not picked up, the company spokesman said.

Source: fwi.co.uk

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