On January 12, 2004, FSIS published an interim final rule on Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) and requirements for non-ambulatory disabled cattle. SRMs only apply to cattle. Definition: Specified Risk Materials are inedible and cannot be used in human food.
SRM Requirements Apply to all beef plants: Federal State Custom-Exempt Imports
Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) In all cattle: Tonsils Distal ileum of the small intestine Only the distal ileum is a Specified Risk Material, but the entire small intestine must be removed and not used for human food.
Identifying Age of Cattle for Slaughter One of a plant’s first activities should be to identify the age of cattle, because the SRMs are different for cattle 30 months of age and older. If the plant does not have records on the age and is not using dentition, it should handle all carcasses and parts as if they were from cattle 30 months of age and older.
SRMs – In cattle 30 months and older Brain Skull Eyes Trigeminal ganglia Spinal cord
SRMs – In cattle 30 months and older Dorsal root ganglia (DRG) Vertebral column, excluding Vertebrae of the tail Transverse process of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae Wings of the sacrum
Reasons for Prohibiting these Parts It is generally accepted that in animals with clinical BSE disease, the brain and spinal cord contain the greatest concentration of the BSE agent. Except for the skull and vertebral column, SRMs have demonstrated infectivity either in cattle naturally or experimentally. The skull and vertebral column are included because they contain the trigeminal ganglia (skull) or the spinal cord and DRG (vertebral column).
SRMs – Plant Responsibilities Federal, State, and plants importing into the U.S. must: Implement and maintain written procedures for the removal, segregation, and disposition of SRMs. Incorporate these procedures into HACCP Plans, Sanitation SOPs or other prerequisite programs. Have corrective action provisions. Custom-exempt plants: Must comply with the adulteration provisions of the FMIA. (SRMs must be handled as inedible).
SRMs – Plant Responsibilities Plants must: Maintain daily records to document implementation and monitoring of procedures for the removal, segregation, and disposition of SRMs. Make these records available to FSIS inspection program personnel upon request.
Recommended Procedures If plants slaughter both young cattle and cattle 30 months and older: Recommend that young cattle be slaughtered first If cattle 30 months of age and older are slaughtered first, sanitize equipment and verify there is no cross-contamination of carcasses
Acceptable Procedures In cattle 30 months of age and older, after carcass-splitting: Is acceptable to remove visible spinal cord with knife trimming. To clean equipment, utilize the provisions of 9 CFR 416.
SRMs – Plant Responsibilities Processing plants must: Segregate/identify bone-in product from cattle 30 months of age and older in order to properly address SRM removal and control. Recognize that T-bone or porterhouse steaks and bone-in rib roasts can no longer come from cattle 30 months of age and older.
SRMs – FSIS Responsibilities In addition to present inspection procedures, FSIS inspection program personnel will: Verify the age of cattle. Verify the adequacy and effectiveness of a plant’s procedures regarding SRMs. Condemn the heads from cattle 30 months of age and older unless the plant can verify that the stunning does not result in brain leakage onto the head.
Additional Help FSIS wants to help all plants understand their responsibilities under the new rules That is why we are holding this series of Teaching Workshops and providing the workbooks. FSIS inspection program personnel are working closely with plants to help you understand and implement the new rules.
Additional Help The Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships and Outreach staff from the Office of Public Affairs, Outreach and Education (OPAEO) is working closely with FSIS District Offices, State Inspection programs, and the Contacts and Coordinators in every state to provide technical assistance to small and very small plants. (202) Technical information is available from the FSIS Technical Service Center