DETECTION OF SPINAL CORD TISSUES AS BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY SPECIFIED RISK MATERIAL IN BEEF CARCASSES DURING SPLITTING IN TURKISH ABATTOIRS

Authors


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Abstract

ABSTRACT

We used an enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay to detect central nervous system (CNS)-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein to show the presence of CNS material on the medial surface of each half (left and right) of washed carcasses after splitting with a band-type saw. The high level contamination (0.4) was detected at the highest ratio on the brisket + plate area surface of carcasses (33.3%). The moderate level contamination (>0.2) was detected at the highest ratio on the brisket + plate and loin areas surface of carcasses (11.1%). The low-level contamination (0.1) was detected at the highest ratio on the flank and hip areas surface of carcasses (100.0%). The similar level contamination risk was found on both the right and left half of 72 beef carcasses. Although no contamination was detected on the band-type saw, the low-level contamination (0.1) was detected on the floor where the splitting of the carcasses was performed. Even though the low-level contamination (0.1) was detected on all areas of the carcasses, even after washing, the moderate and high level contamination were detected only on the chuck + rib, brisket + plate and loin areas.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

The process of splitting of beef carcasses in the abattoirs involves some critical stages when tissues included in the so-called specified risk material (SRM), particularly spinal cord, are released. This can obviously lead to potential dissemination of central nervous system material over the carcass and surrounding area, resulting in possible contamination with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) infective agent.

By this study, the first time in Turkey, contamination of BSE-SRM in beef carcasses during splitting in private abattoirs was investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. The test was preferred because this is sensitive, very fast and cost-saving on carcass and on surfaces (saw, floor), and detect the antigen called glial fibrillary acidic protein. This study, as a first report in Turkey, showed the contamination level of beef carcasses, instruments and tools and slaughterhouse environment with BSE-SRM.

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