On Tuesday, shortly after Canadian officials announced that they had identified a single cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, some U.S. companies responded with statements of their own.

Outback Steakhouse, Burger King and Tyson Foods were among the earliest to get information out about their own use of beef, and to calm possible consumer fears that BSE will find its way into the U.S. beef supply.

Outback officials said in a release that the company's restaurants serve only "USDA top choice or prime U.S. Midwestern grain-fed beef." The company requires all of its suppliers to confirm in writing that the cattle producing beef for its restaurants have been raised and fed in compliance with the U.S. government regulations designed to prevent BSE in the United States.

Burger King, which uses beef from Canadian sources, noted in a release that it has rigorous product-safety procedures in place for its suppliers to ensure that its beef products cannot be contaminated at any stage in the production process.

A Tyson release said, “We believe Canadian officials are taking appropriate steps in this matter. As they have indicated, this is believed to be an isolated case and poses no risk to consumers since the animal in question was not processed into beef. This also means there is no reason to be concerned about the safety of Canadian beef products already in the United States or in the production pipeline.”

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Tyson Foods, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse