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February 18, 2008

Beef Recall

The Nation's largest ever beef recall has just been announced by the government. The problem was that "downers", cattle to ill to move, or walk, are not supposed to enter the food chaing: the biggest worry being BSE. The animals still need to be slaughtered of course, but they should not be sold as fit for human consumption. The plant was doing that, and thus the beef recall.

In late January a video documenting the mistreatment of cattle at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. in Chino was released the Humane Society. The media (LAist included) was sensitive enough to leave this video on the rack but that didn't keep government officials from investigating and announcing the largest beef recall -- nearly 150 million pounds -- in U.S. history this weekend.

The video is pretty disturbing, and the beef recall won't be the only outcome: criminal charges are highly likely:

The US Department of Agriculture yesterday ordered that 143 million lb of beef from the slaughterhouse be recalled. Officials estimate that some 37 million lbs of the recalled meat had been heading to schools across America though they fear that most of it will have already been eaten.

The abattoir run by the Hallmark Meat Packing Company, an associate and supplier of Westland Meat Company, which provides meat for America’s National School Lunch Programme, is now the subject of an an animal-abuse investigation.

Ed Schafer, the US Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer said his department had evidence that Westland did not routinely contact its veterinarian when cattle lost the power to walk 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,” Mr Schafer said in a statement.

Dr Dick Raymond, the department’s undersecretary for food safety, said: “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.”

The plant was, unfotunately, known as a large supplier to the school meals system:

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.

It's difficult to make a beef recall from kids who have already eaten it.

Here's the list of all of the products affected by the beef recall:

These products are subject to recall, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., BURRITO FILLING MIX.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., PACKED FOR JACOBELLIES SAUSAGE CO., 74/26 GROUND BEEF.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., RAW GROUND BEEF MEATBALL MIX FOR FURTHER PROCESSING.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., COARSE GROUND BEEF 'FOR COOKING ONLY', FAT: 15%.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., COARSE GROUND BEEF 'FOR COOKING ONLY'.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., COARSE GROUND BEEF TO BE FURTHER PROCESSED INTO COOKED ITEMS, FAT: 15%.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., COARSE GROUND BEEF 85/15.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., COARSE GROUND BEEF 93/7.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., FINE GROUND BEEF 'FOR COOKING ONLY', FAT: 15%.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., FINE GROUND BEEF 'FOR COOKING ONLY'.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., 90 - 10% GROUND BEEF, 3/16 GRIND.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., GROUND BEEF 1 LB. PACKAGE, FAT: 15%.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., GROUND BEEF, FAT: 15%.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., RAW BONELESS BEEF TRIMMINGS, 'FOR COOKING ONLY'.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., RAW BONELESS BEEF, 'FOR COOKING ONLY'.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., BEEF GROUND 50/50% LEAN.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., BEEF GROUND 73/27% LEAN.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., BEEF GROUND 81/19% LEAN.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., BONELESS BEEF 90/10.

• Various weight boxes of WESTLAND MEAT CO., GROUND PORK FOR FURTHER PROCESSING NOT TO EXCEED 30% FAT.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF TRI TIP.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF TOP SIRLOIN BUTT.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF STRIP SIRLOIN.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF RIB EYE LIP-ON.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF PISMO TENDERLOIN.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF O/S SKIRT.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF I/S SKIRT.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF FLANK STEAK.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF BOTTOM SIRLOIN FLAP.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF STRIP LOIN BONE-IN, FURTHER PROCESS 1X1.

• Various weight boxes of PACKED FOR: KING MEAT CO., BEEF EXPORT RIB 2X2, FURTHER PROCESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF RIBEYE ROLL LIP-ON.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF RIBEYE ROLL LIP-ON.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF PLATE, OUTSIDE SKIRT.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF PLATE, OUTSIDE SKIRT.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF PLATE, INSIDE SKIRT.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF PLATE, INSIDE SKIRT.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF LOIN, STRIP LOIN, BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF LOIN, STRIP LOIN, BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF LOIN, BOTTOM SIRLOIN BUTT, FLAP, BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF LOIN, BOTTOM SIRLOIN BUTT, FLAP, BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF LOIN, TOP SIRLOIN BUTT, BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF LOIN, TOP SIRLOIN BUTT, BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF LOIN, TENDERLOIN, FULL, SIDE MUSCLE ON, DEFATTED.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF LOIN, TENDERLOIN, FULL, SIDE MUSCLE ON, DEFATTED.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF FLANK STEAK.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF FLANK STEAK.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA SELECT, BEEF, BOTTOM SIRLOIN BUTT TRITIP BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of REGAL brand USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER, BEEF, BOTTOM SIRLOIN BUTT TRI TIP BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF LIVERS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF FEET.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF TRIPE.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF REGULAR TRIPE.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF HONEYCOMB TRIPE.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF TAILS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF CHEEK MEAT.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF TONGUES.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF TONGUE TRIMMINGS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF BONELESS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF RIBS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF HEARTS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF CHEEKS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF PLATES.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF SMALL INTESTINES.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF LIPS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF SPLEENS.

• Various weight boxes of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF SALIVARY GLANDS, LYMPH NODES AND FAT [TONGUES].

• Six-gallon containers of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF BILE.

• One- and six-gallon containers of HALLMARK MEAT PACKING BEEF BLOOD, .2% SODIUM CITRATE ADDED.

February 18, 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

The cows on the video are forced into submission for slaughter as it is and then there are the sick ones that can't even stand up because they have broken legs and it is very clear from all the video I have seen that some are starved and you can see that someone well before they arrived at the plant has mistreated the animals. Inspection of the location of where cows are raised needs to be addressed. The cows left behind on the truck were clearly arriving sick and seriously mistreated and given no dignity prior to their death.

Posted by: Barbara | Feb 20, 2008 1:13:00 AM

How can we lose our compassion toward living things for a burger or steak? I am 52 and for the first time in my life, i truly never want to eat beef again. The compound effect of diseased meat, possibly sick school children, and the severe inhumane treatment of those poor animals, affirm that yes, i can live without it. Anyone who treats animals that way for the allmighty dollar truly needs severely dealt with. I am sure this is not the only abuse they deal out on a daily basis. I feel sorry for their families.

Posted by: Kim | Feb 20, 2008 11:40:38 AM

If you buy your meat at Whole Foods Market, you are assured to be eating that of humanely slaughtered animals. Whole Foods makes sure of this through their Animal Compassion Foundation. They are also humanely raised, natural or organically fed. Free range and happy!
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged on the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by: Monica | Feb 21, 2008 5:29:55 AM