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An Evaluation of a Method for the Detection of Sensory Ganglia in Product Derived from Advanced Meat Recovery Systems

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A method is described for the identification of dorsal root ganglia (DRG)–associated sensory neurons within advanced meat recovery (AMR) product derived from bovine vertebral columns. This method relies on the unique microanatomy of sensory neurons and immunohistochemical staining, primarily for glial fibrillary acidic protein. Sensory neurons are variably sized unipolar neurons, exhibiting a single-cell process that is rarely seen in histologic sections. These neurons are surrounded by a prominent ring of glial fibrillary acidic protein–positive satellite cells that produce a distinctive and readily identifiable staining pattern in histologic sections. Fragmented DRG were detected to the 0.25% level in samples of ground beef or nonvertebral-origin AMR product spiked with these sensory ganglia. Similarly examined commercially produced nonvertebralorigin AMR product (n = 157) did not contain sensory ganglia, while 3.3% of vertebral-origin AMR product (n = 364) contained fragmented DRG.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Public Health Science 2: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Food Defense and Emergency Response, Russell Research Center, P. O. Box 6085, Athens, Georgia 30604, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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