Beef Recall Largest in U.S. History
2-Year Recall of 143 Million Pounds of Beef -- Most Already Eaten
Feb. 18, 2008 -- It's the largest beef recall in U.S. history: 143 million
pounds of beef "voluntarily" recalled by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing
Company of Chino, Calif.
The beef, produced from February 2006 until the U.S. Department of
Agriculture suspended operations at the meat plant on Feb. 2, 2008, may be
contaminated because of "inhumane" practices at the plant, including
the processing of cattle too ill to walk.
Because no actual contamination has yet been found in any of the food
products, the USDA is issuing a "Class II" recall, which it defines as
"a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse
health consequences from the use of the product."
According to the Humane Society of the United States, which produced a vivid
documentary depicting illicit practices at Hallmark/Westland, the company has
delivered beef to more than 100,000 schools and child care facilities in 36
states through federally assisted school lunch programs.
"I am dismayed at the inhumane handling of cattle that has resulted in
the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing
Company," USDA secretary Ed Schafer said in a news release.
Much of the recalled beef in the two-year recall may already have been
eaten. However, many of the products were frozen.
Specific package labels for the various recalled items -- which include both
raw and processed meat and beef parts -- can be viewed at the USDA web