DEFRA calls bovine TB in meat stories “irresponsible scaremongering”

DEFRA calls bovine TB in meat stories “irresponsible scaremongering”

DEFRA has described a report in The Sunday Times that consumers are at risk of contracting bovine TB by eating meat as: “irresponsible scaremongering.”

A Government statement said: “The Food Standards Agency has confirmed there are no known cases where someone has contracted TB from eating meat.

“All meat slaughtered due to bovine TB must undergo rigorous food safety checks before the meat is passed as fit for consumption. As a result the risk is extremely low, regardless of whether or how the meat is cooked.

“The risks have been reviewed by the Food Standards Agency’s independent advisory expert panel in 2002 and 2010 by EFSA.”

The Sunday Times highlighted that 28,000 cattle infected with bovine TB had been slaughtered. The total figure for cattle and calves slaughtered in 2012 was 2.68 million.

Nick Allen, sector director for EBLEX, said: “FSA guidelines are clear and are based on the current science. Notably, if localised tuberculosis lesions are found in more than one organ or area of the carcase during the post mortem, the whole carcase and its offal and blood should be declared unfit for human consumption.

“The final decision about the carcase being fit for human consumption is made by the FSA Official Veterinarian who is completely independent.”

Click here to read the original Sunday Times report.

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