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Cow Tonsils can carry Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)? What will I now eat with a beer?

Nebraska Firm Recalls Beef Tongues That Contain Prohibited Materials

J.F. O’Neill Packing Company, an Omaha, Neb., establishment is recalling approximately 33,000 pounds of beef tongues that may not have had the tonsils completely removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Tonsils are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle of all ages in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

The following product is subject to recall:

" Various weight cases of "BEEF TONGUES." Each case bears the establishment number "EST. 889A" inside the USDA mark of inspection and were sold under the following brand names:

"J.F. O’NEILL PACKING CO.," "WHOLE FOODS NATURAL," "WHOLE FOODS ORGANIC," "PREMIER PROTEIN PARTNERS," "MONTANA RANCH BRAND," "GRASSLAND BEEF," "AUSTIN MEATS," "MORGAN RANCH," "KOBE BEEF AMERICA," "IMPERIAL WAGYU BEEF," "BRAND ADVANTAGE WAGYU," "BRAND ADVANTAGE PARTNERS," "YAMAYA U.S.A.," and "A.D. ROSENBLATT."

The company is recalling all products packed between July 1, 2009, and October 8, 2009. These products were shipped primarily to distribution centers in Nebraska and California for further sale to restaurants, hotels and institutions.

The problem was discovered through a food safety assessment FSIS conducted at the establishment.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.