The United States Department of Agriculture, yesterday, announced the largest beef recall ever in the country. The recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse stems from an animal abuse investigation and meat being provided to school lunch programs.
Prior to yesterday’s recall, the largest was a 1999 ban of 35 million pounds of ready-to-eat meats. No illnesses have been reported thus far, and officials believe the health threat to the public is relatively small. The recall affects beef products that came from Chino, California-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Company.
Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Schafer said the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection and have been determined to be “unfit for human food.” Federal officials suspended operations at the company after an undercover video from the Humane Society of the United States showed crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts. Both felony and misdemeanor counts dealing with cruelty to animals have been filed against various plant workers. Authorities say the video shows workers kicking, shocking and abusing cows that were too sick or injured to walk into the slaughterhouse.