My Beef with the Recall

Yesterday, Westland/Hallmark Meatpacking Company recalled the most beef in US history. The 143 million pounds of meat was more than four times greater than the next highest amount. In fact, the recalled beef is enough to serve two burgers to roughly every American. Now imagine every man, woman and child throwing away two hamburgers (minus the buns).

We do not feel this product presents a health risk of any significance,” said Dick Raymond, the undersecretary of agriculture for food safety. “But the product was produced in noncompliance with our regulations, so therefore we do have to take this action.”Fimo Cow by AndiH (via Flickr)

Obviously, health concerns take precedence over avoiding food waste. Yet, in this case, safety doesn’t seem to be the main motivation. What then? Retribution.

Apparently, the USDA pressured Westland into the recall due to that “noncompliance,” even though the regulatory agency believed most of the potentially harmful food had already been eaten.

The largest recall in U.S. history for a product that doesn’t have a health risk? Is this 2008 or 1984?

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  1. Deborah Myers
    Posted February 19, 2008 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    I can only hope that the owner of this Westland/Hallmark goes belly up/bankrupt. The employees can think twice about mistreating animals. Maybe if the owner weren’t so greedy, he would have been more involved in the daily inspections of what his employees were doing.

  2. Jonathan
    Posted February 19, 2008 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I agree, it’s a sad, sad affair. Still, it’s not shocking to find cruelty to animals in a slaughterhouse.

    This thing kind of reminds me of Abu Ghraib torture. There’s a good chance the employees’ mistreatment was condoned or even encouraged. If they get the cow to stand up, they can sell the meat. If not…they’ll still sell the meat (against regulations).

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