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With current slaughter and meat cutting techniques, parts of the sympathetic nervous system may enter the human food chain; this might be a route of transmission of prion diseases, e.g. transmission of BSE via beef. The topography of these structures in cattle carcasses is discussed, and 2 cutting methods are described which guarantee removal of the sympathetic ganglia in the cranio-thoracic and lumbar regions of the carcass. In the caudo-thoracic and sacral regions of the carcass, the ganglia are localized very close to the backbone or sacrum, and are removed with other high risk material.