However, these challenges have aided in stringent policies and regulations in this industry. Recent outbreaks of Mad Cow disease have caused the Meat industry to improve its inspection processes. This research paper examines how this disease has affected the hospitality industry and how it has helped to change its policies and inspection processes.
Mad Cow Disease is the common name for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) that was first recognized in the United Kingdom in the year 1986. In simple terms it the name "mad cow disease" came because it affects a cattle's nervous system. It is a chronic, degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system of cattle. The main culprit of the cause of this disease is the rogue proteins, known as prions that reproduce inside the brain of the infected cow. Once the disease progresses, the brain attains a sponge nature and hence it is also termed as "spongiform". In fact BSE is categorized to a group of progressive, degenerative neurological diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies or TSEs. The other disease in this group includes scrapie, which affects sheep and goats and has symptoms similar to BSE. As of now there is no cure for BSE (Department of Primary Industries and Water, 2008).
If we look at how BSE can have an impact on human...
In humans this disease is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or in short vCJD. The scientific community has still not found a cure for this disease and is fatal in nature (Department of Primary Industries and Water, 2008).
In the food industry this disease have posed significant threat and could seriously affect both export and domestic markets for cattle and cattle products. Additionally it is also possible that it can have a serious impact on jobs and businesses in the meat industry and its various support industries. It could also have a considerable effect on the tourism and hospitality industries. Since there is no cure for this disease, the only options is slaughtering the affected animal. Since its initial outbreak, food industry has formulated various policies (Department of Primary Industries and Water, 2008).
One of the major problems with this disease is the identification of the affected animals. Contrasting the Foot and Mouth Disease that spreads rapidly if not controlled, BSE spreads comparatively slowly. Besides it is found that both BSE and its human counterpart, vCJD, have an unusually long incubation period. In other words if a human is diagnosed with vCJD, it might be the result of eating infected animal probably up to twenty years earlier. This makes tracing of the disease source much more difficult (Department of Primary Industries and Water, 2008).
Mad Cow Disease is possibly one of the most significant food-safety-related issues to have troubled the hospitality industry in recent years. In the United Kingdom, where the disease was first identified and had extensive effects, the consequence for this industry have been characterized as catastrophic-yet little experiential facts supports this. Definitely it affected the food