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Jenny Albano
Jenny Albano
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143 Million Pounds of Frozen Beef Recalled

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On Sunday, February 17, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef form a slaughterhouse in Southern California that is being investigated for mistreating the cattle. This recall is the largest beef recall in the U.S. since 1999.

The recall affects beef from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Agency dating to February 1, 2006. This company supplies meat for the federal school lunch programs and to some fast-food restaurants.

According to the agency, Westland/Hallmark did not always contact veterinarians when the cattle became ambulatory after passing inspection. Not contacting a veterinarian is a violation of health regulations and because the cattle did not receive proper inspection the beef had to be recalled.

Federal officials suspended operations at Westland/Hallmark after an undercover video surfaced showing crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts. Two former employees were charged Friday with animal cruelty. No charges have been filed against Westland, but an investigation by federal authorities continues.

So far there have not been any illnesses reported to the FDA or Westland from the recalled beef. The FDA believes that 37 million pounds of the beef went to school pograms, but most has probably already been consumed. Officials also do not think that the beef is contaminated and will cause a health hazard, but they had to coordinate a recall because of the mistreated cattle.