February 18, 2008
The U.S. Agriculture Department has recalled 143,000,000 pounds of frozen beef produced at the Westland-Hallmark plant in California.
The frozen meat is at the center of an animal abuse investigation.
No illnesses have been reported yet, and the risk is low. The company did put its cattle through the required pre-slaughter screenings.
Beef dating back to February of 2006 is involved.
An undercover Humane Society investigation showed sick and crippled animals at the plant being led to slaughter. They are more susceptible to disease, including E-coli, Salmonella and Mad Cow Disease.
Some of the meat was shipped to Georgia schools. New information from the Georgia Department of Education Monday says 37 school systems, including Richmond County, bought products containing the recalled beef. Richmond County has notified the department that it has some products containing the recalled beef.
GaDOE is notifying all systems Monday of the recall and the proper procedures for destroying the beef. The recalled meat must be destroyed following strict USDA procedures, and the local school systems will be reimbursed for the cost of the meat.