Magazine article Management Services

Guidance on BSE

Magazine article Management Services

Guidance on BSE

Article excerpt

The first general guidance for all occupational groups who may be exposed to the agent of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in the course of their work was published at the end of August by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), the Department of Health (DH) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF).

These occupational groups include farmers, vets, abattoir workers, workers in rendering plants and all others who may be involved in the disposal of material from cattle that may contain the BSE agent.

The new general guidance, which reaffirms the precautions recommended in other guidance material on BSE published since 1990, has been prepared on behalf of HSC, DH and MAFF by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP). It follows a detailed review by the committee of all the earlier publications specific to various sectors of employment.

That review, and the issue of new guidance was prompted by the announcement earlier this year of a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in ten (now 12) persons, most of whom were of an unusually young age for CJD to occur.

The new guidance points out that there is no proven link between BSE and human disease, nor any discernible association between the well-recognised sporadic form of CJD or the new variant of the disease and occupational exposure. The basic precautions, advocated in the earlier guidance, are brought together in the new publication. …

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