Government response

Contracting bovine TB through eating meat: response to Sunday Times

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Sunday Times claim that people are at risk of contracting bovine TB through eating meat is irresponsible scaremongering.

The myth

The Sunday Times claims that people are at risk of contracting bovine TB through eating meat.

The truth

This is irresponsible scaremongering. The Food Standards Agency has confirmed there are no known cases where someone has contracted TB from eating meat.

All meat from cattle slaughtered due to bovine TB must undergo rigorous food safety checks before the meat is passed as fit for consumption. As a result, the risk is extremely low, regardless of whether or how the meat is cooked.

The risks have been reviewed by the Food Standards Agency’s independent advisory expert panel (the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food) in 2002 and 2010 and by the European Food Safety Authority.