/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., Recalls 143 million pounds of Beef.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., Recalls 143 million pounds of Beef.

The USDA, (U.S. Department of Agriculture) on Sunday ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., a Chino, Calif.,, the subject of an animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch programs. (This is the only video I could find on YouTube.)

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2008 – Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., a Chino, Calif., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 143,383,823 pounds of raw and frozen beef products that FSIS has determined to be unfit for human food because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection. Through evidence obtained by FSIS, the establishment did not consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian in situations in which cattle became non-ambulatory after passing ante-mortem inspection, which is not compliant with FSIS regulations. Such circumstances require that an FSIS public health veterinarian reassess the non-ambulatory cattle which are either condemned and prohibited from the food supply, or tagged as suspect. Suspect cattle receive a more thorough inspection after slaughter than is customary. This noncompliant activity occurred occasionally over the past two years and therefore all beef product produced during the period of time for which evidence indicates such activity occurred has been determined by FSIS to be unfit for human consumption, and is, therefore, adulterated. This recall is designated as Class II due to the remote probability that the beef being recalled would cause adverse health effects if consumed. FSIS made this determination because the animals passed ante-mortem inspection but should have been identified as suspect requiring additional inspection after slaughter to determine if there is evidence of disease, injury, or other signs of abnormalities that may have occurred after ante-mortem inspection. In July 2007, FSIS issued a final rule “Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle.” This rule requires that a case by case disposition must be made by an FSIS Public Health Veterinarian for every animal that becomes non-ambulatory disabled (“downer”) after passing ante-mortem inspection. The prohibition of downer cattle from entering the food supply is only one measure in an interlocking system of controls the federal government has in place to protect the food supply. The government has multiple safeguards regarding BSE in place and the prevalence of the disease in the United States is extremely low. Other BSE security measures include the feed ban that prohibits feeding ruminant protein to other ruminants and an ongoing BSE surveillance program that began before the confirmation of the first BSE positive cow in the U.S. in 2003. As another measure to reduce the risk of potential exposure to consumers, FSIS requires the removal of specified risk materials (SRM) so they do not enter the food supply. Several FSIS line inspectors are stationed at designated points along the production line where they are able to directly observe SRM removal activities.
The products subject to this recall were sent to wholesale distributors nationwide in bulk packages and are not available for direct purchase by consumers. All products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 336” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on various dates from Feb. 1, 2006 to Feb. 2, 2008. Companies are urged to check their inventories and hold the products until the recalling firm makes arrangements for final disposition of the products.
USDA Press Release, PDF
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