USDA announces biggest beef recall ever

According to a news report from www.nrn.com, “In the largest beef recall in U.S. history, the Hallmark Meat Packing Co. and its affiliated Westland Meat Co. are trying to recover 143 million pounds of beef after a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation revealed the processor’s plant here failed to follow a safeguard against bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.”

“Almost all of the beef, which was processed during a two-year stretch, has likely been consumed, said Ron Vogel of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. However, the USDA stressed that the public’s risk of exposure to BSE was “negligible,” said the story. “It is extremely unlikely that these animals were at risk for BSE because of the multiple safeguards,” USDA secretary Ed Schafer said in a statement. The USDA said on Sunday that the Chino plant had violated regulations issued by administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Those rules require a cattle slaughterhouse to summon a USDA veterinarian whenever an animal loses its ability to walk right before slaughter. By that time, a check of the animal’s mobility — the “ante mortem inspection,” in USDA parlance — has already been made to screen out cattle possibly contaminated with BSE. Cows or steers afflicted with the ailment are often unable to walk.”

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