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AMI Commends USDA's Decision to Transfer Neurological Tissue Testing Method to Laboratories, Universities

Monday, August 18, 1997

The American Meat Institute (AMI) this week applauded a decision by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to share a test methodology that helps companies detect the presence of neurological tissue in meat products.

Efforts to prevent neurological tissue, such as spinal cords, from entering the meat supply spurred the transfer of the technology, which was exclusive to the FSIS laboratory in Athens, GA. Although companies are required to remove spinal cords from carcasses, the industry sought a means to verify that their manual spinal cord removal efforts were completely effective in keeping neurological tissue out of meat products. AMI had met with FSIS to urge the agency to transfer the technology so that companies could incorporate it into their quality control programs by enlisting the services of qualified labs and universities.

The actual transfer of the technology is expected to take place in the next 30 days at USDA’s Athens laboratory in a training session coordinated by the American Meat Institute Foundation.

Independent laboratories and university staff have been invited to participate. Participating labs and universities are required to send a histopathologist, preferably with expertise in veterinary pathology, and an individual trained in histopathological staining and analysis.

“We are pleased that this important test method will be more widely available,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. “It will be extremely useful to companies in ensuring the quality of meat products.”

For more information on the training session, contact AMI’s Vice President of Scientific and Technical Affairs Janet Collins, Ph.D., R.D.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
James Ratchford
Manager, Public Affairs

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