Age related dietary exposure to meat products from British dietary surveys of teenagers and adults in the 1980s and 1990s

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Date: Aug. 16, 1997
From: British Medical Journal(Vol. 315, Issue 7105)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 804 words

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Nineteen cases of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been diagnosed in the United Kingdom and one in France.[1] Compared with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the new variant is characterised by different neuropathology, methionine homozygosity, young age, and a longer interval from onset of clinical symptoms to death.[2] Importantly, the molecular marker for bovine spongiform encephalopathy is present in people with new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which makes dietary exposure to the agent causing bovine spongiform encephalopathy the likely cause of their illness.[3] Which foods contained the infective agent has not been established, but the consumption of mechanically recovered meat is a particular concern. Mechanically recovered meat is used in processed meat products such as beefburgers and pies but under increasingly strict regulations-for example, since May 1996 it can come only from cattle with no more than two permanent incisors erupted (under 30 months old); since May 1997 the use of the vertebral column in such meat is prohibited; and premises producing such meat must be registered. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food has commissioned an audit of which bovine (and ovine) tissues have gone into which foods and when (in periods of five years).

Because of die younger age at onset of...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A19724973