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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

North American Bison Co-Op Recalls Cow Tonsils Due to Mad Cow Risk

North American Bison Co-Op, a New Rockford, N.D., establishment is recalling approximately 25,000 pounds of whole beef heads containing 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, and other specific parts, 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 product subject to recall includes:

Various weight cases of "Beef Heads KEEP FROZEN." Each case bears the establishment number "EST. 18859" inside the USDA mark of inspection and a case code number "16999." "North Dakota Natural Beef" is printed in the bottom left-hand corner of each label.

The recalled products were produced between June 25, 2009, and February 19, 2010. These products were shipped to distribution centers in Md., Mich., and Minn. for further sale.