Fear of Chronic Wasting Disease Prompts Elk Meat Recall

An urgent recall of Elk Tenderloin has been initiated by Exotic Meats USA and announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because Elk Tenderloin may have been derived from an animals confirmed to have had <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

Exotic Meats USA of San Antonio, Texas, implemented the voluntary recall of Elk Tenderloin with production dates of December 29, 30, and 31, 2008.  The recalled Elk Tenderloin was purchased from the Sierra Meat Company in Reno, Nevada and the infected elk came from Elk Farm LLC in Pine Island, Minnesota and was among animals slaughtered and processed at Noah’s Ark Processors LLC, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) facility.

According to the FDA, Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal brain and nervous system disease found in elk and deer and is caused by an abnormally shaped protein called a prion, which can damage the brain and nerves of animals in the deer family.

Existing information indicates that the specific prion responsible for causing Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk is not capable of infecting humans who eat deer or elk meat contaminated with that prion; however this is not the case in other prions and other animals.  For instance, observation of dangerous animal-to-human transmission of other prion-mediated diseases; for instance bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)—most commonly referred to as Mad Cow Disease—has raised a theoretical concern regarding the transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease from deer or elk to humans.

Because of this, and over environmental concerns, the FDA is strongly advising consumers to return the potentially tainted Elk Tenderloin to the place of purchase, rather than disposing of it themselves.

Exotic Meats USA purchased one case of the recalled Elk Tenderloins from Sierra Meats USA.  The purchased Elk Tenderloin weighed 16.9 pounds and was sold from January 16 through January 27, 2009.  The recalled Elk Tenderloins were packaged in individual vacuum packs that weighed about three pounds each.  A total of six packs of the recalled Elk Tenderloins were sold to the public at the Exotic Meats USA retail store.

The FDA is advising consumers who are still in possession of the recalled Elk Tenderloins to return the meat product to Exotic Meats USA at 1003 NE Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78209.  Customers with concerns or questions about the Voluntary Elk Recall can call the firm toll-free at 1-800-680-4375.

The FDA also explained that Exotic Meats USA is requesting that for those customers who have products with the production dates in question, to neither consume nor sell them and to return them to the point of purchase; customers should return the product to the vendor.  The vendor should, in turn, return the recalled meat to the distributor and the distributor should work with the state to decide on how best to dispose of the diseased meat.  If the consumer is disposing of the product he/she should consult with the local state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office for further direction.

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