Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Dangers of Factory Beef - Part Two

Today the UDSA announced that Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., Chino, Ca., is recalling approximately 143,383,823 pounds of raw and frozen beef products that USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has determined to be unfit for human food because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection. According to the USDA: "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." (Author's note: That's one way to put it. To get the full picture, see my previous posting: The Dangers of Factory Beef - Caught on Tape!)

They went on to say: "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."

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. Fortunately, the products subject to this recall were sent to wholesale distributors nationwide in bulk packages and are not available for direct purchase by consumers.

You can view the entire press release by clicking here.

This should provide some added incentive to find and build a relationship with a trusted, local producer. Sooner versus later.

1 comment:

Hillary Dickman said...

I love that you can address this topic so diplomatically and with such maturity. This news story made me so angry I was nearly foaming at the mouth. As a result, my blog post was not nearly as eloquent as yours! See it here:

http://dickmanfam.blogspot.com/2008/02/are-you-convinced-yet.html

Thanks for speaking your mind respectfully. You make up for the emotionality of people like me!

By the way, I'm really enjoying your blog. From one home grown Colorado girl to another, keep up the great work.