USDA Orders Largest-Ever Beef Recall After Alleged Animal Cruelty

Monday, February 18, 2008

143 million pounds of beef recalled

We are almost to the point of being afraid to eat anything any more.  Is it due to laziness or lack of concern of the USDA or due to our economy forcing those who raise cattle for a living to try and include as many of their cattle as possible in order to make a living?…..(flagranny2)

LOS ANGELES —  An undercover video showing crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts has led to the largest beef recall in the United States and a scramble to find out if any of the meat is still destined for school children’s lunches.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sunday ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from a Southern California slaughterhouse that is the subject of an animal-abuse investigation.

The recall will affect beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the federal agency said. The company provided meat to various federal programs.

Officials estimate that about 37 million pounds of the recalled beef went to school programs, but they believe most of the meat probably has already been eaten.

“We don’t know how much product is out there right now. We don’t think there is a health hazard, but we do have to take this action,” said Dr. Dick Raymond, USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety.

Click here for the USDA recall release (PDF)

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer said his department has evidence that Westland did not routinely contact its veterinarian when cattle became non-ambulatory after passing inspection, violating health regulations.

“Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection, Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” Schafer said in a statement. [For the complete article click here]

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