The fear of mad cow disease has spread across France, where two deaths by the illness have been confirmed since 1996. The panic was caused by a tripling of the disease since last year in French cattle. Beef has been pulled from the menus of numerous schools, people are heading in droves to local butchers rather than supermarkets for their beef because consumers place more trust in small operators, and sweetbreads have been banned across the country. While the risk is small, perhaps minuscule, only you can decide if you will eat beef while traveling here.