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The health ministry urged the food industry Friday to inspect and voluntarily recall products containing cow parts that could transmit mad cow disease to humans, ministry officials said.

The request refers to products containing parts of the brain, spinal cord, eyes, and part of the small intestines of cattle. It is the first time the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has requested a recall of food products possibly connected with mad cow disease. The request to about 150 production and processing groups follows the first confirmed case of mad cow disease in Japan, discovered last month in Chiba Prefecture.

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