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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