Concern about mad cow disease prompted a Missouri company to recall possibly tainted beef products distributed to restaurants and a grocery chain in New York City, Kansas City and Connecticut, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
There was no indication the recall was related to an unidentified person in Texas who recently died of mad cow disease
, the fourth-ever confirmed human case of the illness in the United States.
Jackson-based Fruitland American Meat is recalling about 4,012 pounds of beef because it could contain parts of the nervous system that can carry properties related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, the USDA said in a release.
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BSE is fatal to cows and can cause a fatal human brain disease in people who eat tainted beef, according to The Associated Press.
The USDA said there's no indication the slaughtered cattle showed signs of BSE.
The department said the products were produced between September 2013 and April 2014 and were distributed to a restaurant in New York City, another in Kansas City, Missouri, and a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service found the possible problem while reviewing the company's slaughter logs and said the issue may have been a result of the manner that company employees determined the age of various cattle.
The dorsal root ganglia within the nervous system has to be removed from cattle that are 30 months and older but may have been present in some of the products.
There have been no reports of adverse reactions to eating the products, the USDA said. The agency characterized the recall as a Class II recall, meaning there's a "remote probability" of health problems associated with using the recalled product.
The recalled products include: quartered beef carcasses stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and establishment number "EST. 2316," and 80-lb. cases containing two cryovac packages of bone-in "Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye" bearing the establishment number "EST. 2316" inside the USDA mark of inspection with the following production dates printed on the box: 9/5/13, 9/10/13, 9/11/13, 9/26/13, 10/2/13, 10/3/2013, 11/8/13, 11/22/13, 12/17/13, 12/26/13, 12/27/13,1/16/14, 1/17/14, 1/23/14, 1/31/14, 2/13/14, 2/14/14, 2/21/14, 2/28/14, 3/8/14, 3/20/14, 4/4/14 or 4/25/14.
No details have been released about the Texas death, including the location, time, date, or gender of the victim, but the Texas Department of State Health Services claims there is no public health concern or imminent threats.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first announced the mad cow disease death in a press release.
"The confirmation was made when laboratory results from an autopsy of the patient's brain tested positive for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease," the CDC memo read.
"First described in 1996 in the United Kingdom, variant CJD is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans. It is believed to be caused by consumption of products from cows with the disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or 'mad cow' disease)," the CDC said.
Those infected with variant CJD generally die within 14 months of infection, the agency noted.
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