USDA Recalls 143 Million Pounds Of Beef

The U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated the largest meat recall in U.S. history today, recalling 143 million pounds of beef from a macabre California slaughterhouse that chopped up downer cows—a rich source of mad cow disease—and sold them to school districts across the nation. The massive recall affects all beef produced by the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company after February 1, 2006.

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.

Over 100 school districts stopped using meat from the California plants, but not before children consumed 37 million pounds of affected beef. McDonald’s and Burger King do not use meat from Westland, while Jack in the Box and In-N-Out had ordered their suppliers to use other sources “until further notice.”

USDA Makes Nation’s Largest Beef Recall [AP]
PREVIOUSLY: USDA Stops Production At Meatpacking Facility After Undercover Video Showed Sick Cows Being Abused
(Photo: flikr)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Falconfire says:

    and this after i watched Fast Food Nation…. Yep looks like they really are improving their practices since that book and movie came out.

  2. DMDDallas says:

    time to switch to fish!

  3. no.no.notorious says:

    @DMDDallas: …but not tuna

  4. amccoll says:

    Some people are so sick, how fucked up can you be to first stick poor sick cows with a forklift, then turn around and sell SCHOOLS meat that may be contaminated? I hope these people rot.

  5. Half Beast says:

    Lovely. I’m eating a Wendy’s classic double right now as I read the press releases…
    I’ll probably still finish it though…

  6. Dresarius says:

    But. They’re california cows, so they’re happy cows.

    Right?

  7. ClayS says:

    Waste not, want not.

  8. nightshade74 says:

    @DMDDallastime to switch to fish!

    Maybe not…
    [www.redorbit.com]

  9. DCGaymer says:

    Yeah don’t switch to fish too fast… they have issues too.


    + Watch video

  10. Bay State Darren says:

    @Dresarius: Sorry, OP specifically calls them “downer cows.” And since you are what you eat, and I eat tons of beef…

    I’m gonna go drown my sorrows now in delicious steak, hopefully it’s not the infected crap.

  11. smitty1123 says:

    @BayStateDarren: BSE is only present in the brain, spinal cord, eyes and a couple of other organs. A t-bone from even a downer cow would be perfectly safe. You would only have to worry about hamburger.

    [www.fsis.usda.gov]

  12. CharlieSeattle says:

    @DCGaymer: I’ve seen that in halibut, the reason I no longer eat halibut.

  13. banmojo says:

    These a-holes should be killed for what they’ve done in the name of filthy lucre. Killed, no judge, jury necessary. Just killed.

  14. ninabi says:

    T-bone might not be safe. Prions are found in and around bone and in lesser amounts, in muscle tissue. Eyes are also particularly infectious.

    The mad cow boards on the vegsource.com website have an excellent gathering of articles and research journals.

  15. Christovir says:

    As Ninabi mentions, the only way for humans to get BSE (mad cow disease) is to ingest prions in the meat. But how do the cows get it? The same way. Cows that have mad cow got it because they were fed other diseased cows. Yuck.

  16. bohemian says:

    USDA along with many other government agencies have been gutted in the last oh about 7 years. They were already running behind on staffing and such before that. Fast Food Nation (the book) has some details on how the USDA has been scaled back and more meat producers are on the honor system.

    There needs to start being some serious penalties on the persons who knowingly do these kind of things, same with the Bayer situation. Suing companies just doesn’t work. Facing jail time would make some of these decision makers think twice about the greed, or at least get the utterly greedy behind bars.

  17. Ftp1423 says:

    @DCGaymer: @CharlieSeattle: Please tell me what the HELL that is. I just ate snapper for the first/last time last night.

  18. DudeAsInCool says:

    I put a call into this company to express my outrage at the video that was posted, and the person that answered the phone was a thug–he began cursing at me, rather than listen to the complaint. Based upon the video, and this one conversation, I think the company is not fit to operate and should be closed forever.

  19. Eliamias says:

    February 2006? As in 2 years of them running with this? This is beyond unconscionable. With all of its output halted, I can only hope that bankruptcy is not far behind. And civil suits not far behind that. They did this all for the money, so they should lose it all. And then some.

  20. Hoss says:

    Felony offense for animal cruelty? Come on govt lawyers — tell me there’s a felony offense for endangering us two leggers too!!

  21. ChrisC1234 says:

    I’m glad to see that the individuals who did this are actually getting charged. In too many things, the “company” gets a royal whipping, but the PEOPLE who actually did the bad things get off scott free.

  22. Hoss says:

    Graphic video: [tinyurl.com]

  23. RobinB says:

    Animal cruelty is just unacceptable. Unfortunately there is something wrong with absolutely everything we eat these days.

  24. Techno Viking says:

    @DMDDallas:

    Even fish has a lot of mercury so be careful. Buy organic fish and also not a lot. Technically you don’t need to eat fish or meats at all. It was all in the past. Now its all infected with chemicals and over processed to a point where there is nothing good in the food anymore. Fish does contain omega fats but also many plants have the same molecule. And protein has many other sources as well. We are just not that mobile as our ancestors were and just end up clogging our arteries with animal fats. Animals on the other hand have a better metabolic system and for them its better to eat food raw. They are adapted for that, we are not. And besides if you start to consume more healthy fats then you will look even better than now as long as u exercise. Also avoid white sugar like a plague. And if you do, you will never get sick with any colds. As for this, it’s all corporate greed. These monsters care only about money. They do need to meet their daily quota so they think so what. But, what will happen should a prion come to contact with a human. When a person eats a bad meat, not fully cooked, and that meet has animal nerve cells, the protein from the cell can attack the human nervous system and make holes in it, giving you the mad cow disease. And for a person its fatal. A slow death where your thoughts will be obsolete. As in your memory, neural net wiped out.

  25. sue_me says:

    How bout this? If a company knowingly and willingly sells something that’s contaminated, the manager of the plant responsible as well as the CEO gets life in prison without parole, if the person dies. And 10-25 if the person gets sick. Plus they get to pay millions in damages to the estate of the said dead person. And if the person doesn’t die, they can get sued for negligence.

    Knowingly selling a product that may kill someone is criminally negligent homicide.

  26. Arcaynn says:

    I don’t like contaminated meat just like the next carnivore… but cows have to be one of the funniest looking animals in the world. I can’t take any article seriously that has a pic of them; I just laugh.

  27. SkyeBlue says:

    We could care less about kids in this country and that this company did what they did, but what is REALLY gonna piss the people of this country off is COWS being treated badly!

    What is important to those in power is not that people might have gotten sick from this, but that the company not lose any profits!

    When are we in the US EVER going to get mad about ANYTHING and say enough is enough? Do we are about anything?

  28. oneswellfoop says:

    @Techno Viking

    How does one eat “organic fish”? Either it’s wild caught or it’s farmed. If it’s wild caught it’s either line caught(superior quality and more expensive) or net caught(cheaper and less expensive, but still more so than farmed). If it’s farmed it’s been swimming around in water with a ton of fish poop in it and being fed feed with all sorts of things like ground up fish and antibiotics in it. Farmed fish is also fattier, which leads to a more flavorful fish, but fish in general is about texture and subtlety, not a high fat content. In any case, you have to watch the fish you eat since many wild caught fish will have higher levels of toxins than are recommended. Fish that grow larger, live longer lives, and consume large quantities of bait fish to fuel their bodies(particularly fish like tuna and king mackerel, both of which are fish that cruise at high speeds) tend more towards this. Smaller fish that live shorter lives tend to have less in the way of toxins depending on their diet and where in which body of water that particular fish was caught.

    Down with the evil meat empire and the companies that sacrific quality for cost effectiveness.

  29. Christovir says:

    @Techno Viking: While I agree with you that white sugar is not very healthy, it probably does not help your cause to say that if you cut it out “you will never get sick with any colds.” When people read claims like that, they tend to dismiss everything else surrounding it, even if the rest is legit.

    Also, heating cannot not kill prions because they are not alive, they’re just bent protein molecules. There is no way to treat BSE-tainted meat.

  30. kittenfoo says:

    i read that two workers at hallmark were charged with animal cruelty. i hope the judge throws the book at them. since it’s california, there’s hope they’ll have to serve some time for it. sounds like there’s a decent chance the plant itself will get shut down. can’t happen too soon.

  31. hotrodmetal says:

    This is the USDA’s effort to say they did something.

    The USDA even said that they believe that most of the meat in question has been consumed.

    Chew on that!

  32. Ow146 says:

    Hm… I always thought they used circus animals in school lunches…

  33. Trai_Dep says:

    Make the executives eat the weeks-old ofal and intestines of the downed cows they so cheerfully fed our children. Read a response from the company, defending itself since there were no signs of sickened children. From Mad Cow, yeah, THAT’S going to happen overnight.

    If someone pushing drugs – that at least make some people (briefly) happy – get decades in rough prisons, manditorily, then these people should get life.

    Oh, nice to see the Free Market magically preventing these things from happening. Not.

  34. astrochimp says:

    “…and sold them to school districts across the nation.”

    Look, we all know it’s either second-rate beef or gym mats, and as lunchlady Doris on the Simpsons warns, “there’s very little meat in these gym mats”.

  35. icemanik says:

    Glad I went vegetarian for five years ago. Not that there aren’t problems with bagged salads and the veggie food supply. But selling sick beef to schools, god damn.

  36. DadCooks says:

    Our wonderful government at work–more than a year late and 143 million pounds short.

    I am sure that this slaughter house will just declare bankruptcy and go out of business and the company officers will “retire” with nice golden parachutes in the Camen Islands..

  37. blackpanic says:

    aren’t they teaching these kids anything about business or politics? they should know better than to trust factory farmed meat. if the dept of agriculture defines their nutritional standards, mad cow disease is the least of their problems.

  38. Topcat says:

    @Eliamias: I’d be more concerned that they’ve put a recall of all meat they produced since Feb 1, 2006, implying there is beef out there, somewhere, that is two years old. Nothing like feeding children fresh food.

  39. sporks says:

    I’m glad I’m vegetarian/smart enough not to eat the school’s mystery meat. Ugh. The USDA needs to get their act together and protect the interests of the people instead of corporate agribusinesses and factory farms. This is seriously messed up.

  40. JackHandey says:

    Sounds like a good reason to quit eating meat…. How crappy is their tracking/testing system when they need to recall 143 million pounds? What else slipped through in that time? What a waste of energy and resources.

  41. johnva says:

    @oneswellfoop: I’ve seen farmed salmon advertised as “organic”, but I don’t think the label means a whole lot as I don’t believe it’s regulated for fish. In any case I only buy wild Pacific salmon (usually Alaskan).

  42. JackHandey says:

    Speaking of a waste of energy and to put things in perspective: As a quick ballpark calculation, let’s assume a cow gives 500lbs of meat and each cow is 5ft long*
    Therefore, (143,000,000lbs)*(1 cow/500lbs)*(5ft/cow)*(1mile/5280ft) = 271 miles of cows if they were lined up head to toe. If you were to drive that distance at 65 mph, it would take four hours.

    *(Just guessing at the length of a cow. I am sure 5ft is on the low end for a cow, so this calculation gives a conservative estimate. I couldn’t find a reference quickly.)

  43. Christovir says:

    @JackHandey: Good one, though I agree that your estimate is a bit low. This website ([www.ext.vt.edu]) lists beef cattle by breed and their final weights are all above 1000 lbs. I could not find length data, but the cows I’ve seen up close have been pretty darn big. the sheer amount of waste involved boggles the mind.

    The AP article says “no illnesses have been linked to the newly recalled meat” but they don’t say that this is irrelevant with mad cow. In humans, the vCJD incubation period is 20 to 50 years. Leaving out that info is comparable to writing about millions of people being exposed to asbestos and then saying “but no one had cancer the next day.”

  44. synergy says:

    @Christovir: Well said!!!

  45. CharlieSeattle says:

    @Techno Viking: Organic fish, do you mean wild caught? WTF is organic fish?

  46. CharlieSeattle says:

    If you’re eating “organic” fish, you’ve been had. It’s really farmed. Which is worse than wild caught.

    [www.organicconsumers.org]

    USDA Allowing Bogus Organic Labels on Fish from Fish Farms

    Organic label muddies the waters

    Carol Ness, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

    Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    “Organic salmon” reads the sign stuck into pretty, deep-pink fillets in
    Tower Market’s fish case.

    Same goes at Drewes market in Noe Valley. Ver Brugge’s in Oakland’s
    Rockridge calls the salmon “organically fed.” Up in Larkspur, Yankee Pier’s
    menu boasts “grilled organic chinook salmon.”

    At $8 to $10 a pound, sales of the fish have been climbing in the Bay Area
    for the last few months. With wild salmon out of season for months at a
    time, consumers alarmed by reports of PCBs, dioxin and other contaminants in
    conventionally farmed salmon are snapping up this new alternative.

    “Any time they see ‘organic,’ people are going crazy for it,” says Don
    Dacanay, behind the fish counter at Tower Market in San Francisco.

    Even when the local wild salmon season opens May 1, fishmongers predict that
    prices for wild king steaks and fillets will be so high this year that the
    “organic” fish will keep selling well into summer.

    There’s just one catch: It’s not organic. Fish can’t be certified organic in
    the United States, because federal rules governing organic foods don’t cover
    fish. They only apply to crops and animals raised on land. And these fish
    aren’t certified organic by any other country, either.

    So what’s going on?

    The short answer is that the “organic” fish are farmed salmon, from British
    Columbia and Scotland. Their producers say the salmon are being raised in a
    cleaner environment with more room to swim than most farmed fish. They get
    better food; some even eat certified organic feed. They’re not given
    antibiotics or hormones. Chemicals aren’t used to clean their nets.

    Yankee Pier chef Phil Conde says, “They’re very similar to free-range
    chickens.”

    Most of what’s labeled organic in local stores and restaurants is farmed
    king salmon raised in Clayoquot Sound, an inlet on the British Columbian
    coast, by Creative Salmon Co. The feed isn’t organic, and contains minimal
    amounts of grain. Pigment is added. The fish contain some contaminants. But
    their flesh is bright and firm, and the fish arrive looking healthier than
    other farmed salmon, Conde says.

    Scottish fish

    Also sold locally, in some Whole Foods Markets, is the Black Pearl Natural
    Choice brand. This Atlantic salmon is raised on feed that’s certified
    organic in Britain in lower-density pens off Scotland’s Shetland Islands,
    and sold through Boston-based Martin International. Whole Foods doesn’t call
    it organic, but clerks can tell customers about the fish’s cleaner pedigree.

    In many fish markets, the salmon has become an attractive alternative since
    reports about contaminants in farmed salmon sent demand plummeting.

    At Ver Brugge’s meat and fish market, Jerry Ver Brugge says, “We’re not even
    using typical farmed salmon anymore. We stopped it. After this debacle, we
    put in the organic fish for $1 a pound more. We’re selling just as much, and
    no more controversies.”

    Drewes market in San Francisco sells about 80 pounds of “organic salmon” a
    day. Customer Michael Laird, buying a 1 1/4-pound fillet for dinner one
    recent day, explains.

    “I have kids, so I am concerned about hormones and diseases cropping up in
    farm-raised salmon,” he says. “And it’s good.”

    It doesn’t bother him that the fish isn’t certified organic by anyone.
    Organic is more a general concept to him, and once Drewes’ owners Josh and
    Isaac Epple explained how the fish was raised, he was satisfied.

    Neither Creative Salmon nor Martin International labels their fish organic,
    although Creative Salmon’s laminated sign, posted at Tower and Ver Brugge,
    says “organic certification pending.” But both companies think their fish
    should qualify as organic and are pushing their governments to set standards
    for organic farmed fish.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which governs organic rules in this
    country, is also under pressure from Alaska to allow wild-caught salmon to
    be called organic. So far, the USDA hasn’t waded in.

    Yet, “organic” is what the salmon is being called by some wholesalers,
    markets, restaurants, and the people eating it.

    That’s OK with the USDA, spokeswoman Joan Shaffer says, as long as signs or
    labels don’t display the USDA organic seal, or imply that the fish meets U.
    S. national organic standards.

    “Because there are not standards,” Shaffer says.

    This stance, clarified in a USDA statement April 13, begs the question of
    whether the word “organic” alone carries an implication, since the USDA’s
    National Organic Program went into effect in October 2002. Shaffer says the
    USDA controls use of the term “organic” for crops and critters raised on
    land, but not for categories that aren’t covered by the organic program,
    including seafood and cosmetics.

    “It’s kind of consumer beware,” says Brian Leahy, president of California
    Certified Organic Farmers.

    Whole Foods has chosen not to call any fish organic, even if it’s certified
    by another country that does have standards.

    “We don’t feel comfortable with some of the overseas certifiers,” says
    national seafood manager Dick Jones. And different countries have different
    standards.

    “It’s very confusing to us when seafood is labeled organic because we don’t
    know just what that means,” he says. “We think that until it’s defined, it’s
    also confusing to the consumer.”

    Some Bay Area fishmongers are more direct.

    “We find it to be a crock,” says Tom Worthington at Monterey Fish, a
    sustainably inclined San Francisco wholesaler with a retail market in
    Berkeley. He’s not selling the salmon.

    Using organic feed and no antibiotics or hormones “are good things,”
    Worthington says. “But the real problem is what happens to the environment.”

    Pollution from feed and feces, diseases and the problem of escaping fish
    entering the wild gene pool are the other half of the equation, he adds.
    That view is held by an environmental coalition that’s fighting Creative
    Salmon’s operation in Clayoquot Sound.

    At Berkeley Bowl, fish manager Ted Iijima agrees with Worthington. And he
    says 9 out of 10 of his customers are “anti-farmed fish.”

    “For fish, who can truly say it’s organic? And who sets the guidelines for
    that? I get off the boat there.”

    With the opening of California wild salmon season just days away,
    Worthington says, “Why would anyone want farmed king salmon when we’re
    entering the (wild) king salmon season soon, and it’s already organic and
    living on its own and doing what it does?”

    Price problem

    Price may be one reason. Both retail and wholesale fish sellers expect wild
    salmon prices to take a big jump this year. Demand is phenomenal because of
    the alarms about farmed salmon, along with the national health imperative to
    eat more fish and the high-protein craze.

    Right now, with only a few wild salmon coming in from Oregon and Alaska,
    prices of $14-$16 a pound aren’t unusual. As the California season gets into
    full swing, prices should drop — but not to last year’s levels. Predictions
    are that prices will be $2.50 to $3.50 a pound more this year.

    For Jerry Ver Brugge, as well as Drewes and other markets, that means
    carrying cheaper alternatives.

    “I believe we’ll have organic-fed farmed fish throughout the wild season.
    What will dictate what will be sold is price,” Ver Brugge says.

    “I think they’re equal in nutritional value, cleanliness, healthiness,” he
    adds. But “there will be other opinions about that. Oh, yes.”
    A look at the farms

    Here are some of the farming practices for salmon being sold as organic, or
    cleaner, in Bay Area markets.

    Creative Salmon Co.

    Indigenous Pacific king (Chinook) salmon, farmed in Clayoquot Sound, British
    Columbia

    Certification: Not certified. British Columbia has no organic standards for
    fish. Creative is working with the provincial government to draft organic
    rules. Its marketing materials say “organic certification pending.”

    Feed: Not organic. Feed is fish meal and fish oil screened for PCBs and
    other contaminants; organic wheat used as a binder.

    Color: Synthetic astaxanthin is added. This is a carotenoid, essential to
    salmon’s growth; it also gives salmon its pink-orange color.

    Density: 25,000 to 30,000 fish per pen; company says that equals 8 kilograms
    of fish per cubic meter. For comparison, the industry average is 40 kg/m?;
    British organic rules allow 10 kg/m?.

    Other: No antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or anti-fouling substances used.

    Black Pearl Natural Choice (Martin International)

    Atlantic salmon farm-raised in Scotland’s Shetland Islands

    Certification: Not certified. Owner Dick Martin wants the USDA to adopt
    organic rules for fish, so that he can win certification.

    Feed: Organic fish meal and grain feed certified by Soil Association, a
    British certifying agency.

    Color: No pigments added. Color comes from marine creatures used in feed.

    Density: 18 kg/m? (industry average is 40 kg/m?; British organic rules allow
    10 kg/m?.)

    Other: No antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or anti-fouling substances used.

    E-mail Carol Ness at cness@sfchronicle.com.

  47. veronykah says:

    @Falconfire: Actually…read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. It was written AT LEAST 100 years ago, nothing sounds like it has changed since THAT was written.
    Disgusting.

  48. danger the pirate says:

    @CharlieSeattle: holy god. post a fucking link, man, not the whole article.

  49. HykCraft says:

    Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

  50. MeatInsider says:

    People really don’t know whats on their dinner table these days. Ive been around the food industry, since I was a kid (distributors and restaurants). I keep up with the market (prices) to help a few companies as a consultant. This kinda news isn’t too shocking, since the method of normal slaughtering of cattle is in a way cruel. Most people dont know that ~70% of cattle hides (not the stuff that we eat, but it can get into the food supply)has E. coli 0157:H7, which is the cause for mandatory testing as described by fsis. Yes, you do the testing, but it is not 100% accurate. Packers/processors such as Tyson, ConAgra (Excel), National Beef, Omaha Beef & Swift do such heavy processing that their is an increased chance of contamination in anything that is heavily processed. As a result prices of beef have gone up coupled with smaller pastures for cattle to graze on and the mandatory testing…these prices will continue to go up and force entities such as schools to search for bargain beef.
    The video of the abused cows look like dairy cows being sent to slaughter- this is the cheapest and poorest grade beef you can buy- the taste is bad and it is very “greasy”. USDA says that any cow that is constantly laying on the ground (in maneur) is not suitable for slaughter, but usually no inspectors are around to see it, since most only show up to plants for a couple hours a day. There is no way out of this mess. Bargain consumers have kept these larger meat packers in business allowing them to control the prices as well as standards. Packers purposely slow down slaughter to keep prices up. USDA seems to only be taking action to “appear” concerned. The smaller meat packers/slaughterhouses that care about the customers are gone- they were bought out by the larger companies. If you are worried about Mad Cow Disease- you should be- there just doesnt seem to be enough testing- its like the USDA is ignoring that issue. I feel bad for consumers because it is almost impossible for them to be safe when buying any product in a supermarket. Ive been food poisoned and I know what to look for when it comes to beef, fish and chicken. Avoiding beef as a consumer will not solve the problem, since there needs to be more rules/policies for all food (I have some stories about chicken you wouldnt believe). If I have offended anyone- I’m sorry, but thats what I have seen and have been met with criticism from old-school beef providers.

    Oh yeah for the people above- small cattle is considered to be under 650 lbs and the current weighted avg per 100 lbs is ~$94 …grade is also a determining factor in the cutout prices.

  51. armour says:

    @Trai_Dep: it’a not o much the free market but goverment regulations that make it difficulte for smaller slaughter houses to be able to operate. We now have the mega coperations conducting operations. Before many smaller center had thier own local slaughter houses that supplied to a few butchers in a county.

    Sadly the govement thought these places were of higher risk yet that was never proven because most had more acountability as they lived in the comunity they served.

    Now we face huge recalls of these sorts and when any sort of out break happens and insteed of being contained to smaller geographical aeras it now spreads acros the country.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Somewhat related; People look at me funny when I tell them that I drink raw milk straight from the cow purchased from a local farmer, but stories like this just confirm my decision. I know exactly where my milk comes from and how the cows are treated and what they are fed…

  53. sixninezero says:

    This just affirms if you don’t know the source, you shouldn’t eat it.

  54. Parting says:

    @cunnij98: Raw milk tastes different, but coming from a safe source (you know the farmer) it’s less dangerous than USA beef. The lack of inspectors is scary.

    When US blocked the border, because Canada found mad cow in one cow, it makes me but wonder : how many mad cows slip **through** the cracks in USA. There is no strict system to test cows in USA + lack of actual inspectors. (Canada is much more strict in its inspections, and there are a lot of food inspectors who check different plants on a regular basis).

  55. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Another reason I’m glad I’m vegetarian.

  56. bishophicks says:

    @sixninezero: “This just affirms if you don’t know the source, you shouldn’t eat it.”

    Nice sentiment but pretty unrealistic. We eat food that is grown/raised/manufactured under an almost infinite variety of conditions/methodologies from all over the planet. Unless you grow/raise all your food yourself and get your water from a source you control, you can’t really “know the source” of everything you eat.

    The best you can do is use some general rules of thumb to keep yourself safer. Like “don’t buy pre-made hamburger patties”, or “if it comes from China, don’t put it in your mouth.”

  57. meeroom says:

    It’s worth the $$ to buy better quality beef from a good butcher who knows the meat source. It may cost a LOT more but you shouldn’t be eating that much meat anyway!

  58. elijah_dukes_mayonnaise says:

    @MeatInsider: “In a way, cruel”? These are
    sentient beings, herded together and led into slaughter, and for what?
    Some dipshit’s Big Mac value meal?

  59. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Trai_Dep: If you really think we have a “free market” in the United States, you are so misinformed and naive that nobody should listen to a word you say on the subject.

    I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here… you could be deliberately lying about the free market for some reason best known to yourself.

  60. ethereal_pete says:

    “…while Jack in the Box and In-N-Out had ordered their suppliers to use other sources “until further notice.” Suddenly I’ve lost that feeling of dissapointment about not having an In-N-Out anywhere close to me.

  61. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    @amccoll: or get mad cow disease. That is what they truly deserve.

  62. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    @smitty1123: the public school kids are definitely not eating t-bones, but hamburgers.

  63. leefur5 says:

    Has any of this meat gone out to supermarkets under another label? I’ve never heard of Westland/Hallmark, how would I know if I have any contaminated meat in my fridge?

  64. FLConsumer says:

    @veronykah: Seeing this recall as yet another total failure to put quality product over their bottom line, Upton Sinclair’s Jungle also came to my mind as well.

    @Dooley: I hope you don’t buy the pre-washed, pre-packaged stuff. Where are produce farms located? Often near livestock farms. Where do produce farms get their irrigation water from? Downstream from the livestock farms. Hence the Eschericha coli problems we’ve been seeing. I was a vegetarian for the first ~20 years of my life. It was a vegetarian dietican who finally had me eat meat b/c my body wasn’t able to get enough protein from the veggies. Not a bad thing, meat tastes really good.

  65. theblackdog says:

    Noooooo, not In-N-Out!

    Oh wait, there are none near me, the next time I get near one they should be on a different supplier :-D

  66. DCGaymer says:

    @Ftp1423: Sorry to say…it’s a parasite. The fish with the lowest parasite issue would be tuna….which is what I used to stick to… but wild tuna is being over fished…Wild tuna is the new sea bass….. The fish with the highest parasite problem is Salmon…especially salmon raised in salmon farms. On two separate occasions I’ve had halibut and snapper…in high end New York, restaurants … and found the same type of parasite/worm as shown in the video…though in my case they were cooked…not moving…. Needless to say, I didn’t eat it.

  67. Skiffer says:

    Bring on the cloned meat!!!

  68. CharlieSeattle says:

    @DCGaymer: That makes sense since Halibut are bottom fish. I tend to stay away from fish that live most their lives on the bottom.

  69. Rusted says:

    @Techno Viking: All fish are organic, otherwise it would not be a carbon-based lifeform.

    Great. I can’t eat diary and corn in anything just makes me itch. Now I gotta give up beef and tuna?