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4,000 pounds of beef recalled over mad cow risk

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If you were considering becoming a vegetarian, maybe this will help you decide. The USDA announced Thursday that Fruitland American Meat, a Jackson, Mo. beef company, is recalling more than 4,000 pounds of beef due to mad cow concerns.

Mad cow disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible agent called a prion.

The USDA says a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut that serves stores in New England received the potentially tainted beef.

Not all beef is at risk. The bone-in “Rain Cow Ranch Ribeye” and quartered beef carcasses bearing establishment number EST. 2316 inside the USDA mark of inspection are now being recalled.

Heather McCready, spokesperson for Whole Foods says,“We are closely monitoring this issue with one of our suppliers, to ensure full compliance with the USDA’s regulations and our own high quality standards for beef. There have been no cases of reported BSE or any other illnesses associated with this product, and no products currently in our stores are affected.”

There was no indication that any of cattle displayed signs of BSE, according to the USDA.

The specific problem area of the beef is the dorsal root ganglia, which the USDA says may not have been completely removed. These are part of the central nervous system. If the cow had BSE, this is where the infected tissues would be located. That area is to be removed and it appears that procedure was not followed for the beef in question.

The USDA has classified this recall as a low health risk, “This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product,” says the USDA website.

The bone-in ribeyes roasts, according to the USDA, were distributed to two restaurants: One in New York City and one in Kansas city, Mo.

Make sure to check your beef. Examine the USDA mark of inspection sticker.

USDA says to watch out for the following production dates, which will be 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.

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