USDA officials said the meat comes from animals slaughtered and processed since Feb 1, 2006, when the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co was first considered in non-compliance with USDA animal inspection rules.
The recall was ordered because the plant violated rules barring the slaughter of ‘downer’ cattle (ie those unable to walk) in almost all cases as a precaution against BSE.
On February 17, 2008 secretary of agriculture Ed Schafer stated:
‘Today, USDA is announcing additional actions as a result of the ongoing investigation at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has evidence that Hallmark/Westland did not consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian in situations in which cattle became non-ambulatory after passing ante-mortem inspection, which is not compliant with FSIS regulations. Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection FSIS has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall.’
Further information is available from