Are the prion diseases going to ever cause a pandemic?

Never say never. Not something i would lose sleep over as a citizen; something i would pay a lot of attention to as as beef inspector. So far, safeguards seem solid. Yet, 1/3 of the wild elk population in the us west is "infected" with prion disease, without illness. Is this a problem, or normal nature? Prudence says pay attention, but don't panic.
Unlikely. The prediction of a possible epidemic of mad cow disease and variant cjd in the uk did not come to pass. Transmission requires intimate contact or ingestion, and this limits likelihood for a pandemic.