OKDHS: 5200 cases of recalled beef in Okla. inventory

Oklahoma City_Press Release_The Oklahoma Department of Human Services was notified late Sunday evening (Feb. 17) that a full recall was being initiated on all beef products issued since Feb. 1, 2006, by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced these actions because of an 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.

Even with the recall, there have been no reports of any illnesses in Oklahoma linked to the product listed in the recall.

This year, 7 truckloads (280,000 pounds) of A608 ground beef were received in Oklahoma from Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company.  Of that, records show approximately 1,800 cases of this beef product have been consumed.

A check of the OKDHS Food and Nutrition Services system shows 3,020 cases of the recalled beef product in inventory.  There are another 2,180 cases in school and facility inventories across Oklahoma subject to this recall.

Each case weights 40 pounds and each truckload holds 1,000 cases.  That means there is a total of some 200,000 pounds (5 truckloads) of HallmarkWestland Packing Company beef product in Oklahoma being poised for destruction.

Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company is only one of a number of companies used by USDA and beef product from other companies remains safe at this time for human consumption.

OKDHS will continue to work with Oklahoma feeding sites to ensure this product will be destroyed and have the appropriate reports sent to the USDA acknowledging full compliance with the beef recall.  OKDHS will also help these feeding sites with other food products to feed from until the USDA can certify another supplier.