USDA Orders Nation's Largest Beef Recall

Hudson

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USDA Orders Nation's Largest Beef Recall

By GREG RISLING,
AP
Posted: 2008-02-17 22:31:57
Filed Under: Nation News
LOS ANGELES (Feb. 17) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sunday ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse, the subject of an animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch programs.
Officials said it was the largest beef recall in the United States, surpassing a 1999 ban of 35 million pounds of ready-to-eat meats. No illnesses have been linked to the newly recalled meat, and officials said the health threat was likely small.

The recall will affect beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the federal agency said.

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer said his department has evidence that Westland did not routinely contact its veterinarian when cattle became non-ambulatory 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," Schafer said in a statement.

A phone message left for Westland president Steve Mendell was not immediately returned.

Federal officials suspended operations at Westland/Hallmark after an undercover Humane Society video surfaced showing crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts.

Two former employees were charged Friday. Five felony counts of animal cruelty and three misdemeanors were filed against a pen manager. Three misdemeanor counts — illegal movement of a non-ambulatory animal — were filed against an employee who worked under that manager. Both were fired.

Authorities said the video showed workers kicking, shocking and otherwise abusing "downer" animals that were apparently too sick or injured to walk into the slaughterhouse. Some animals had water forced down their throats, San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Ramos said
http://news.aol.com/business/story/_a/usda-orders-nations-largest-beef-recall/20080217183209990001


Aww Fuck!
 

BIV

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If you've seen the video, it's brutal. I'm no PETA asscunt, but seeing these fuckheads push around a sick and maimed cow with a forklift was nauseating.
 

rustytrombone1

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so....where were the government inspectors that are supposed to be responsible for our food supply while this was going on? Yet another example of governmental incompetence!
 

THE FEZ MAN

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#4
If you've seen the video, it's brutal. I'm no PETA asscunt, but seeing these fuckheads push around a sick and maimed cow with a forklift was nauseating.

mmmmmm it makes it tender......


i think its bullshit, a cow that cant walk cant walk onto the killing floor, is there video of those cows being slaughtered? or is the video just of the workers clearing out the trucks. not every cow makes it to the slaughter house healthy and happy, i give NO credibility to "the humane society of the united states" they are a militant spin off of PETA
 

d0uche_n0zzle

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For the most part I'll rarely eat beef or even pork these days. Too much crap in both of them meats for my taste.
 
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#6
If you've seen the video, it's brutal. I'm no PETA asscunt, but seeing these fuckheads push around a sick and maimed cow with a forklift was nauseating.
I totally agree with you. I'm no tree hugger, but how can they play this video on the news without so much as a warning about "how distubing this may be for some viewers."

It's funny how hung up some people have become about language, but violent images are ok?

Here's an idea, I'll call Rev. Al, and tell him they're abusing the black bulls.

I'm starvin' Earl, we got any abused hamburger back there?
 

SurlyTruckDrivr

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so....where were the government inspectors that are supposed to be responsible for our food supply while this was going on? Yet another example of governmental incompetence!
they're all busy doing important things making sure no naughty words or body parts are viewed by the children
 
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#9
they're all busy doing important things making sure no naughty words or body parts are viewed by the children
Well there is supposed to be a USDA inspector (CSI) in the plant... to watch over the processing... methinks someone is going to be called on the carpet.

Oh from the USDA

Link
 

BCH

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#10
Yeah, the recall has more to do with punitive action against the slaughterhouse than it does with any risk to human health but it's still a good move.
 
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#11
Well at least the shit is going to get disposed of and not "reworked"

Q. Can the recalled product in the Federal food and nutrition programs be further donated or used as pet food?

A. No. The Federal food and nutrition program product must be destroyed by placing it in a landfill, incinerating or by inedible rendering.
Q. What must be done with any Hallmark/Westland products or processed items containing Hallmark/Westland products in the Federal food and nutrition programs?

A. Any Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. products in the Federal food and nutrition programs, or its derivatives, must be destroyed and cannot be used or reconditioned for human consumption. All disposal methods must be fully documented regarding type of product and destruction method and witnessed with two signatures. Entities holding 50 cases or less may destroy the product on-site by rendering the product unfit for human consumption according to destruction guidance from the State or local health authority. Quantities greater than 50 cases must be taken to a landfill, incinerated, or sent for inedible rendering. FNS has provided destruction verification forms to all affected States.
And I think this place will be going out of business...

Q. What contractual actions will USDA pursue in this matter?

A. USDA has initiated a series of warranty actions against Westland to recover Federal food and nutrition program costs and costs associated with the recall. Additionally, USDA will terminate existing contracts with Westland, which will free up monies for purchasing products from eligible suppliers.
 

FAZ8218

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"I'll have the chicken please."
 

THE FEZ MAN

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nope im sticking to beef, ive seen the inside of a commercial slaughter house, i still say its a bullshit inside job, fuck peta fuck the "humane society of the united states" how the fuck are they supposed to get damaged goods off the floor, wish it up? that is a 2000lb cow not a fucking house cat. peta has an agenda, and wow it worked, buy playing on the hearts of some vegan douch even if there were USDA inspectors there and they saw it as long as the beef wasn't slaughtered and put into the system its just damaged goods nothing more, just because it moans and howls doesn't make it anything more than a tasty addition to my dinner plate
 
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#17
Message from the company's president...

February 3, 2008

As President of Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. I want to reassure our customers and consumers that our company has met the highest standards for harvesting and processing meat under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. A fulltime USDA veterinary medical officer has been assigned to our facility for many years, and he oversees the work of three inspectors in the harvest operation and another inspector assigned to the processing operations. In addition, we have had a full time official from the USDA’s Grading Service in our operation for the purpose of ensuring contractual compliance for the meat we sell to the USDA commodity program.

During 2007, we had 17 third party audits of our operation to confirm that we meet the statutorily mandated humane handling and food safety standards. In addition we have conducted 12 internal audits by our own personnel to ensure that such standards are met. We also, conduct weekly humane handling audits based on standards set forth in the American Meat Institute’s (AMI), Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide 2007 Edition, which was authored by Dr. Temple Grandin, a world renowned expert of humane handling practices. Complete documentation of this activity has been made available to the USDA investigation team currently at our plant.

Words cannot accurately express how shocked and horrified I was at the depictions contained on the video that was taken by an individual who worked at our facility from October 3 thru November 14, 2007. We have taken swift action regarding the two employees identified on the video and have already implemented aggressive measures to ensure all employees follow our humane handling policies and procedures. We are also cooperating with the USDA investigators on the allegations of inhumane handling treatment which is a serious breech of our company’s policies and training.

As part of our own investigation, we have retained an outside consultant to take an independent look at our operations. He is a veterinarian who worked for FSIS in a supervisory position for 26 years all over the U.S. He spent two days in our facility with full and free access to all documentation and plant personnel. He told us in a written report that our records and programs are “the best he has ever seen in any plant.” We have provided his report to the USDA.

We have voluntarily suspended our operations pending the completion of the USDA investigation. We are dedicating our full efforts and resources to fully cooperate with the USDA investigative team that has been assigned to our plant.

Finally, I proudly assure our customers that we comply with all USDA requirements, including the requirement that only ambulatory livestock may enter the harvest facility to be processed for human food. I am confident that we have met this high regulatory standard.

Steve Mendell

President

Westland Meat Co.

Hallmark Meat Packing
Linky

"Finally, I proudly assure our customers that we comply with all USDA requirements, including the requirement that only ambulatory livestock may enter the harvest facility to be processed for human food. I am confident that we have met this high regulatory standard."

Riiiiiiiiiight...
 

THE FEZ MAN

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it looked to me that they were unloading the trucks. so in essence they never entered the facility they could have been damaged in transit. i think that the owners should sue the person that took the video for violation of there "non disclosure" agreement that you can bet that they had to sign when they were hired, and bleed PETA and HSUS dry..... i fucking hate those motherfuckers, a cow that cant walk cant walk to its death and clogs up the line its bullshit
 
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it looked to me that they were unloading the trucks. so in essence they never entered the facility they could have been damaged in transit. i think that the owners should sue the person that took the video for violation of there "non disclosure" agreement that you can bet that they had to sign when they were hired, and bleed PETA and HSUS dry..... i fucking hate those motherfuckers, a cow that cant walk cant walk to its death and clogs up the line its bullshit
Well there might be some other issues with those "downer" cows... ergo drug residue etc... or some other malady... plus bruised meat does not taste that good eh:)
 

BIV

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#20
it looked to me that they were unloading the trucks. so in essence they never entered the facility they could have been damaged in transit. i think that the owners should sue the person that took the video for violation of there "non disclosure" agreement that you can bet that they had to sign when they were hired, and bleed PETA and HSUS dry..... i fucking hate those motherfuckers, a cow that cant walk cant walk to its death and clogs up the line its bullshit
There are very specific laws about not allowing sick cows into the slaughter lines due to the threat of Mad Cow. The video I saw clearly shows them using a hose and a forklift to lift the sick cows into the slaughter line. The USDA is 100% right on this one. How would you like some of that meat to end up in your kid's school lunch?

And it's not like they were only "lifting" the cattle. Running into the side of a cow at full speed so it rolls in the mud is inhumane, I don't care how much of a carnivore you are.

Damn, now I'm starvin'. Earl, we got any tainted steaks back there?
 
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#21
There are very specific laws about not allowing sick cows into the slaughter lines due to the threat of Mad Cow. The video I saw clearly shows them using a hose and a forklift to lift the sick cows into the slaughter line. The USDA is 100% right on this one. How would you like some of that meat to end up in your kid's school lunch?

Damn, now I'm starvin'. Earl, we got any tainted steaks back there?
Ya well one scam is people buying up downer cows really cheap... and then slaughtering them as like reg beef...
 

THE FEZ MAN

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#22
There are very specific laws about not allowing sick cows into the slaughter lines due to the threat of Mad Cow. The video I saw clearly shows them using a hose and a forklift to lift the sick cows into the slaughter line. The USDA is 100% right on this one. How would you like some of that meat to end up in your kid's school lunch?

And it's not like they were only "lifting" the cattle. Running into the side of a cow at full speed so it rolls in the mud is inhumane, I don't care how much of a carnivore you are.

Damn, now I'm starvin'. Earl, we got any tainted steaks back there?
dont even try to preach to me about "humane" treatment of animals. its a fucking slaughter house, ever see how "kosher" butchers "dispatch" there animals? http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cf9_1179262248

if jamming a fork lift into the side of an injured and dangerous animal to dump it into the container that goes to the rendering plant so be it, un less your a "Jain" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism or a devout vegan to the point of only eating what you grow, NO ONE should bitch about how the animals are treated, you want a 99ct cheese burger? then that meat has to come from a factory farm. they are nothing more than meat, now do i want a cow infected with BSE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_cow to make it to my dinner plate? no i would rather not, since there is NO WAY to render that meat or any of its by products safe.... yep i said buy products. like stevethrower said bruised meat is no good. the animals need to at least be able to get up the ramp to the killing shoot, its really a factory there in that shoot one after the other stacked up and they fall onto one another... its fucking brutal, noisy, dangerous work. ive spent a good bit of time watching peta's propaganda, and have worked on farms, large animal commercial husbandry is fucking brutal no matter what every one thinks... you see happy cows on tv? i see bullshit.
 

BIV

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#23
I'm not getting your point....sick meat was going into the food supply. Period. That is bad. That's why they are recalling, that's why people got fired. I don't understand the outrage.
 

THE FEZ MAN

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#24
its one of the only jobs that mike rowe is not allowed to do, and i hate peta and there propaganda, im not mad at you lil fella
 

BIV

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#25
its one of the only jobs that mike rowe is not allowed to do, and i hate peta and there propaganda, im not mad at you lil fella
I understand. It's just that this isn't a PETA situation. It's a simple recall of tainted meat.
 
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