Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD): Safeguards
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of most animal proteins in the manufacture of feeds given to cattle and other ruminants.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) leads a surveillance system for vCJD and performs random screening of cattle slaughtered in the United States that will be used for human consumption.
- Promoting less aggressive ways to harvest meat from the carcasses of slaughtered cattle to avoid contamination with brain and spinal cord tissue is critical because cooking, even to a well-done temperature, does not affect/destroy the prions.
- Make sure “downer” cattle are kept out of the food chain.
- Cattle should be tracked from birth to slaughter to identify infected cows and destroy their meat.