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Vet Rec. 2004 Jan 3;154(1):21-4.

Dissemination of central nervous system tissue during the slaughter of cattle in three Irish abattoirs.

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  • 1National Food Centre, Teagasc, Ashdown, Dublin 15, Ireland.


Sponge samples were taken from the carcases, meat, personnel and surfaces involved in stunning, slaughter and dressing/boning activities at three abattoirs, and from retail beef products. The samples were examined for the presence of central nervous system (CNS)-specific proteins (syntaxin 1B and/or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), as indicators of contamination with CNS tissue. Syntaxin 1B and GFAP were detected in many of the sponge samples taken along the slaughter line and in the chill rooms of all three abattoirs; GFAP was also detected in one sample of longissimus muscle (striploin) taken in the boning hall of one of the abattoirs but not in the other two abattoirs or in retail meats.

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