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Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 21:31 GMT
Scots meat firm in BSE scare
Meat
The imported meat contained remnants of spinal cord
A meat cutting plant in Dundee is at the centre of a BSE scare after it received a consignment of beef from Spain which contained spinal cord remnants.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said two forequarters of imported beef, weighing 147.8kg, were found to be contaminated with the material which it classifies as carrying "the greatest risk of BSE infectivity".

The beef was part of a consignment weighing more than 21,000kg from the Spanish plant Giresa Palencia.

A spokesman for the FSA said Spanish authorities had been alerted.

Vehicles from Britain disinfected as a precaution
Britain is already dealing with an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease
He added: "Spinal cord is included in the list of specified risk material which is thought to be at greatest risk of carrying BSE infectivity.

"Under EU rules, it must be removed when the animal is slaughtered."

The Food Standards Agency said it had provided details of the abattoirs which have breached the BSE controls to the Meat Hygiene Service and local authorities.

On Tuesday the FSA suspended the licences of two German abattoirs who were alleged to have exported beef into Britain containing spinal cord remnants.

The abattoirs, which were named by the FSA on Friday, also had their licences suspended by the European Commission after the alleged breach of EU-wide BSE controls.

Since January this year six remnants of spinal cord have been found in beef exported from Germany.

This latest BSE scare puts more strain on the UK meat industry which is already reeling from the effects of foot-and-mouth disease.

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