Gebäude 21, 1. OG
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To minimize risks from pathogenic prion proteins, particular tissues from bovines and other ruminants have been declared specified risk materials (SRMs), which are required to be removed from the food chain. However, in particular for the sympathetic trunk (ST) as a part of the autonomous nervous system (ANS), which represents a potential transfer route for abnormal prion proteins (PrP(Sc)), this is not the case. Consequently, its destination during cutting procedures deserves attention. In this survey, the handling of the ST in beef cutting plants was recorded during ongoing work. To ease these observations, the ST was separated into five parts, and eight destinations for cuts were identified. By means of an observation sheet, the destination of the respective tissue was recorded. About one-third of the ST went into human consumption, another one-third was disposed of as SRMs, and the last one-third was used for nonfood purposes or disposed of. The rear thoracic and sacral ganglia primarily remained naturally connected to the bones going as SRMs. The stellate, front thoracic, and lumbar ganglia went in a different percent into the food chain. Frequently, workers in the same plant decided differently, even from case to case, on the destination of the tissue, which indicates a lack of standardization.