The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef – the largest beef recall in US history.
The recalled beef cam from a Chino, California slaughterhouse called the Westland Hallmark Meat Company. This slaughterhouse is the subject of an animal abuse investigation and provided meat to schools across the country.
See the horrific video footage taken on this farm:
Although USDA officials say the health threat is likely small, the video above clearly illustrates why the beef “should be” recalled. But the ‘official’ reason for the recall is as follows:
“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,” Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer Schafer said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Federal officials suspended operations at Westland/Hallmark after the undercover Humane Society video above surfaced on the internet 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 cows that were too sick or injured to walk into the slaughterhouse.
Officials estimate that about 37 million pounds of the recalled beef went to school programs, most of which has probably already been eaten.
Hundreds of school districts around the country have stopped using ground beef from Hallmark Meat Packing Company, which is associated with Westland. Two fast-food chains, Jack-In-the-Box and In-N-Out, said they would not use beef from Westland/Hallmark.