The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) announced Friday directing a beef shipment from Poland taken off the market due to the potential risk of the bacterial disease, Bacillus anthracis (computer translated). The shipment consisted of Polish and Slovak carcass parts.

Cow and calf Image/Agricultural Research Services
Cow and calf
Image/Agricultural Research Services

On Wednesday, it became known that  two of the carcasses from a Slovak livestock tested positive for anthrax.

The NVWA details the situation (translated):

The cattle were slaughtered on September 19 in Poland. For inspections before and after slaughter are no abnormalities detected. On September 27, more than a week after the slaughter of anthrax fixed on the holding of origin of two Slovak cattle. The incubation period in the cow is 3 to 7 days. It is unlikely that an ox already contagious in the incubation period, but that can not be completely ruled out. The incubation period in humans is 1 to 7 days.The beef is significantly more susceptible to anthrax than humans. Research indicates that a person must ingest to become ill.

Food safety officials say it is not clear whether the potentially tainted beef found its way to supermarkets; however, they say the risk to consumers is considered very small. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page