Livestock clearly showing at premortem inspection any irreversible disease or condition that justifies condemnation as unfit for use as food should be humanely destroyed and disposed of (see Disposal of Carcasses and Disinfection of Premises).
Carcasses contaminated by physical, infectious, or toxic agents should not be approved for use as food. Carcasses with generalized conditions or diseases, including cancers, that have so altered the normal characteristics of the meat as to cause it to be inedible or sufficiently abnormal to be reasonably considered unfit for food should not be approved. Localized conditions that do not affect the wholesomeness of the entire carcass should be removed by trimming so that the remainder of the carcass can be used for food.
Special Considerations for Tuberculosis
The entire carcass should be condemned when there is evidence of tuberculosis. This includes when an active lesion is present; the animal is cachectic; a lesion is present in muscle, intermuscular tissue, bone, joint, abdominal organs other than the GI tract, or in a lymph node associated with these parts; extensive lesions are present in the thoracic or abdominal cavity; lesions are multiple, acute, and actively progressive; and the nature or extent of lesions does not indicate localization.
An organ or part should be condemned when it or its corresponding lymph nodes contain lesions. When lesions in pigs are localized and are found at only one primary site of infection, such as the cervical lymph nodes, the unaffected parts are acceptable for food after condemnation of the affected organ or part. Even though certain carcasses minimally affected with tuberculosis may be considered safe after commercial cooking, this procedure is not recommended for carcasses that are not inspected in facilities inspected by federal or state officials.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by Charles M. Scanlan, DVM, PhD