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Biggest US beef recall ever

Posted by Devra First  February 17, 2008 07:10 PM

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Today the USDA ordered the biggest recall of beef ever in the US -- 143 million pounds of frozen beef from the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., based in Chino, Calif.

No illnesses have been linked to the meat, beyond the nausea that may be experienced by those reading about its recall.

You see, when cows are unable to walk, they're supposed to be kept out of the food supply; according to the Associated Press, they pose a greater risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella, and mad cow disease because they wallow in feces and their immune systems are weak.

Apparently Westland employees shoved crippled and sick animals with forklifts, kicked them, and shocked them. This treatment was captured on video. (Statement from the company president here.) Some of the beef -- recalled back to Feb. 1, 2006 -- has been going to school programs; much of it is believed to have already been consumed.

A full version of the story is available here.

I was about to head out for a burger but I just changed my mind.

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Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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