Beef tongue recalled, tonsils possibly still attached
November 10, 2012
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Friday that Black Earth Meat Market Inc. is recalling approximately 99 pounds of beef tongue products because they may not have had the tonsils completely removed.
Regulations require that cattle of all ages must have their tonsils removed, as they are a specified risk material: tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or mad cow disease. There is no indication that any of the cattle involved displayed any signs of BSE.
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Bartlett Durand, Managing Member, at 608-767-3940.
Fast facts on mad cow disease:
Eating contaminated meat or some other animal products from cattle that have bovine spongiform encephalopathy is thought to be the cause of the fatal brain disease in humans that is called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The fatal disease was blamed for the deaths of 150 people in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s.
In people, symptoms of the disease include psychiatric and behavioral changes, movement deficits, memory disturbances and cognitive impairments.
BSE can cause infected animals to display nervousness or aggression, difficulty in coordination and standing up, decreased milk production or loss of body weight, according to the agency.
It is usually transmitted between cows through the practice of recycling bovine carcasses for meat and bone meal protein, which is fed to other cattle.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the odds of a person contracting mad cow disease, even after consuming contaminated products, are less than one in 10 billion.
Unlike most other meat-borne illnesses, such as those caused by E.-coli bacteria, cooking does not kill the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease.
Consumers who wish to exercise extra caution can follow the advice presented by the Web-based consumer advocacy group Consumeraffairs.com, which advises the avoidance of brains, neck bones and beef cheeks, bone marrow and cuts of beef that are sold on the bone. The group also says to choose boneless cuts of meat and ground beef only if it has been ground in the store.
Last year, 29 cases of BSE were reported worldwide, down 99% since the peak of 37,311 cases in 1992.