Botulism in cattle advice

UK - The Agency has changed its advice on the management of outbreaks of suspected botulism in cattle and the sending of meat and milk into the food chain.
calendar icon 12 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

The move follows recommendations in a report by the independent Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF). The report comes against the background of an increase in reported incidents of suspected botulism in cattle in the UK since 2003.

Previously, the FSA’s advice was to request that the farmer with affected herds does not send meat and milk into the food chain. This applied to both affected and healthy cattle.

The committee considered the potential human health risk associated with suspected botulism in cattle.

In line with the general principle that animals that are diseased should not enter the food chain, their report concluded that the current restrictions on food from clinically affected cattle appear to be appropriate and should remain in place.

However, based on current scientific evidence, they considered the restrictions on healthy cattle to be over-precautionary and recommend that, in the absence of other signs, there should be no restrictions on milk or meat from healthy cattle from affected farms.

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