Beef Recall Raises Some Local Concerns

By: Chris Brennaman Email
By: Chris Brennaman Email

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse.

The recall involves beef from the Westland/Hallmark Meat company and comes after an undercover investigation into animal abuse. The video was taken by the Humane Society and shows sick and crippled cows being dragged and shoved with a forklift into the slaughterhouse.

Health officials say those cows are more likely to have a higher risk of contamination from E.coli, salmonella or mad cow disease.

The recall has some local cattle farmers a little nervous.

"Any time you see something like that on the news, it is disturbing because it in some way is going to affect our industry. I am of the opinion that what I saw this morning is not going to cause a mad cow problem. Those were weak cattle that didn't make the trip and never should have been unloaded," said Jerry Nelson, manager of Meridian Stockyards.

Nelson said he believes this is an isolated case and said the Meridian Stockyards never takes downed cattle off of trucks, something which is banned by federal law.

Some area cattle producers say they believe the video has given the industry a black eye. And they fear that they will see prices affected at livestock sales.

"Just the speculation is going to hurt the price today," said cattle producer
Bill Oubre. "It will probably cost some of these guys $20 a head on what they're selling, just because of the news media."

But Nelson disagreed about how the sale of cattle could change.

"The way you look at it, if you've got that kind of beef recall, then maybe the price will go up because you're going to have to replace that meat," Nelson suggested.

The recall affects beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, some of which was sent to schools throughout the country. Mississippi's Nutrition Office notified schools in the Magnolia State that they were not affected.

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  • by shelby Location: philadelphia on Feb 18, 2008 at 04:30 PM
    as a beef producer i feel the beef supply is safe but the industrys public perception has been given a terrible blow because of a few people giving no concern for public health
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