DOE News Release on Recalled Beef









DOE News Release on Recalled Beef


Update: Recall of Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. Beef

MEDIA CONTACTS:

- FOR GEORGIA SPECIFIC QUESTIONS: Dana Tofig, GaDOE Communications office, (404) 463-1487, dtofig@gadoe.org
- FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RECALL AND THE INVESTIGATION: Debbie Haston-Hilger, USDA, (404) 562-1810 or Amanda Eamich, Food Safety and Inspection Service, (202) 720-9113

February 18, 2008
-- On Sunday, (Feb. 17), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recalled 143 million pounds of beef that originated at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. plant in California. Some of this meat was used for school nutrition programs around the country under a USDA contract. There were 37 school systems in Georgia that purchased products containing the recalled beef.

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is notifying all school systems today of the recall and the proper procedures for destroying the beef. The recalled meat must be destroyed following strict USDA procedures. Once this is done, the systems will notify the GaDOE's School Nutrition division and they will report out to USDA.

School systems will be reimbursed for the cost of destroying the recalled beef as long as they follow USDA protocols. It is not clear if school systems will be reimbursed for the cost of the lost food. That decision will rest with USDA.

Some of the beef in question has been consumed. But USDA officials stress that there is a very low risk of illness, since Westland did put its cattle through the required pre-slaughter screenings.

GEORGIA SPECIFIC INFORMATION

- 37 school systems bought products that were made from the recalled beef. These systems bought products that used a total of 6,300 cases of the Westland beef. Each case contained about 60 pounds of beef.
- The beef was purchased by USDA and at the request of local systems sent to processing plants that turned it into food products used by cafeterias, such as patties and beef crumbles. Those products were then sent to the school systems.
- 32 of the 37 school systems have notified us that they have some of the products containing the recalled beef.
- There have been no reports of illness in our school systems related to the school lunch program.

MORE INFORMATION:


1) Statement from Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer on the recall: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/02/0046.xml

2) Questions and Answers on the Beef recall: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/02/0048.xml

3) Food Safety and Inspection Services Press Release on the Recall: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Recall_005-2008_Release.pdf
- En Espanol: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Recall_005_2008_SP.pdf

4) School Districts Involved

The following systems have notified GaDOE that they have some products containing the recalled beef:

Atlanta City
Barrow County
Bartow County
Carroll County
Carrollton City
Cartersville City
Cherokee County
Clayton County
Cobb County
Coffee County
Dalton City
Decatur County
DeKalb County
Fannin County
Floyd County
Forsyth County
Fulton County
Gordon County
Grady County
Griffin-Spalding County
Gwinnett County
Jackson County
Lamar County
Marion County
Murray County
Muscogee County
Newton County
Paulding County
Pickens County
Richmond County
Tift County
Ware County

The following systems purchased products containing beef from Hallmark/Westland but reported having none of the products left:

Berrien County
Lowndes County
Marietta City
Oconee County
Wilkinson County