FSIS Finalizes Rules to Prevent Spread of Mad Cow Disease

The Food Safety and Inspection Service on July 13 affirmed its 2004 interim final rules banning use of some stunning devices to immobilize cattle during slaughter and taking other measures to prevent the spread of mad cow disease. FSIS issued the two rules after a dairy cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in Washington State; it had been imported from Canada. The rules, adjusted slightly after the agency received 23,000 comments, will become final Oct. 1, 2007.

One of the rules designates certain materials from cattle as specified risk materials and prohibits use of these materials for human food. It also requires that slaughter establishments and establishments that process the carcasses or parts of cattle develop, implement, and maintain written procedures for the removal, segregation, and disposition of such materials and incorporate them into their HACCP plans or Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures.

FSIS said July 13 it is confident its programs will protect the U.S. public against Mad Cow exposure. The contact for information about the rules is Dr. Daniel Engeljohn (202-205-0495), deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Policy, Program, and Employee Development at FSIS, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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