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An Evaluation of Methods for the Detection of Spinal Cord in Product Derived from Advanced Meat Recovery Systems

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This study investigated the usefulness of immunohistochemistry, histochemistry, and polarization microscopy in documenting the presence of spinal cord in ground product produced by advanced meat recovery systems (AMRS). A battery of diagnostic stains proved most helpful for definitive documentation of spinal cord in the AMRS product. Antibodies to neurofilament and glial fibrillary acidic proteins were useful for highlighting the presence of neural tissue in comminuted product but when used alone did not definitively differentiate central nervous system tissue from peripheral nerve. Polariscopy, trichrome staining, and immunostaining for synaptophysin were very useful for differentiating spinal cord from peripheral nerve. Spinal cord was found in 2 of 196 AMRS samples when only hematoxylin and eosin staining was used. In a later immunohistochemical subset of the survey study, spinal cord was found in 7 of 17 AMRS samples. More recently, spinal cord tissue has been found in 3 of 26 regulatory samples using hematoxylin and eosin stains combined with immunohistochemical techniques.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Poultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, Russell Research Center, P.O. Box 5677, Athens, Georgia 30604, USA 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service, Pathology Section, Eastern Laboratory, Russell Research Center, P.O. Box 6085, Athens, Georgia 30604, USA 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Poultry Microbiological Safety Research Unit, Russell Research Center, P.O. Box 5677, Athens, Georgia 30604

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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