Prepared Foods September 6, 2004 enewsletter

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) -- more commonly known as mad cow disease -- is most likely still present in the U.S. and Canada, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded.

Presenting geographical risk assessments of the disease in seven countries on August 20, EFSA upgraded these two countries from level II (BSE presence unlikely but not excluded) to level III (BSE likely but not confirmed or confirmed at a lower level). Also placed in this category were Mexico and South Africa. Norway and Sweden were ranked at level II, while the presence of BSE in domestic cattle in Australia was deemed highly unlikely (level I).

EFSA is due to finalize risk assessments on Botswana, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Namibia, Panama and Swaziland by the end of 2004.