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Dissemination of central nervous system tissue during the slaughter of cattle in three Irish abattoirs
  1. D. M. Prendergast, BSc, PhD1,
  2. J. J. Sheridan, MA, MSc, PhD1,
  3. D. J. Daly, BSc, PhD1,
  4. D. A. McDowell, CBiol, MBiol, PhD2 and
  5. I. S. Blair, BSc, PhD2
  1. 1 National Food Centre, Teagasc, Ashdown, Dublin 15, Ireland
  2. 2 Food Microbiology Research Group, Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Jordanstown, County Antrim BT37 OQB


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 1 B and/or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), as indicators of contamination with CNS tissue. Syntaxin 1 B 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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