Another Beef Recall
February 18, 2008 § 2 Comments
This time, it’s a manufacturer in So. Cal. Sigh…
The recall affects beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, coming from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. No illnesses are linked so far to the recalled meat, and Agriculture officials say health threat was likely small. The reason for the recall is due to the mishandling of cattle, not following rules and breaking laws, according to Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer. But this isn’t the first incident of this kind. The Department of Agriculture has 7,800 inspectors who check more than 6,200 plants. In 2007, the agency suspended 66 plants; 12 of which were related to humane handling violations.
Many school districts across the nation stopped using ground beef from Hallmark Meat Packing Co. Of course being the biggest recall of meat in history, advocacy groups and certain government officials are taking the opportunity to voice their concerns. One of the biggest question is how the Department of Agriculture did not catch the problem since its inspectors are supposed to be monitoring slaughterhouses for abuse. Although the Department of Agriculture doesn’t actually have the authority to recall meat, they can pressure companies with various things to pursuade them to issue recalls.
This recall is the pinnacle of a year long of issues for the beef industry. According to the NY Times, last year’s 21 recalls of beef related to potential E. coli contamination have some theorizing the increase could be due to “the cyclical nature of pathogens and changes in cattle-feeding practices caused by the ethanol boom.” Huh, ethanol boom, that’s a whole other rant post.