DEVELOPING: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is recalling 143 million pounds of frozen beef from the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino following assorted health violations. The company’s clients include the federal school lunch program and fast food chains.
Officials say 37 million pounds of the recalled beef, “dating to Feb. 1, 2006,” has probably already been eaten in school cafeterias, but there have been no related sickenesses reported.
“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.
A message on the homepage of the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. dated February 3rd from President Steve Mendell expresses “shock” at a video showing inhumane treatment of animals at the plant, and assures customers that the company complies with all USDA requirements. (CNN has video of sick cows there being lifted and pushed by forklifts. Viewer discretion advised.)
[source: Associated Press]