The record beef recall by Westland/Hallmark has extended into processed foods, and now General Mills, Nestle, and ConAgra, three of the world’s largest food makers, are removing some of their products from supermarket shelves.

According to reports:

General Mills – GM has recalled 35,000 cases of Progresso Italian Wedding soup containing the tainted beef.

Nestle – Nestle has recalled 49,264 cases of Hot Pocket sandwiches with beef that came from the slaughterhouse. The products included in the recall are Hot Pockets Philly Steak & Cheese sandwiches as well as some Hot Pockets Croissant Crust Philly Steak & Cheese sandwiches that were sold in two-pack boxes.

ConAgra – Items containing tainted beef include Slim Jim meat and cheese sticks, Pemmican beef jerky, Hunt’s spaghetti sauce with meat flavor, one Banquet macaroni & cheese meal, Hunts spaghetti sauce with ground beef, Hunts Manwich Original Sloppy Joe with ground beef, and a small quantity of foodservice and private-label lasagna with beef. 

The product codes were not available so consumers should return any of these products to their grocers.

http://www.pe.com/reports/2008/cattle/stories/PE_News_Local_D_consumer28.3cc4a71.html, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120407469460895261.html?mod=googlenews_wsj, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120423592389600905.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Regarding today’s USDA beef recall and the serious health risks associated with processing “downer cows,” Dr. Richard Raymond, under secretary for the Office of Food Safety in a “Technical Briefing” responds:

“In July of 2007 the Food Safety and Inspection Service did issue a final rule called Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirements for the Disposition of Nonambulatory Disabled Cattle.

This rule states very clearly that nonambulatory disabled cattle are not allowed in the food supply and would not pass ante mortem inspection. Read the rest of this entry »

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse, the subject of an animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch programs.

Officials said it was the largest beef recall in the United States, surpassing a 1999 ban of 35 million pounds of ready-to-eat meats.

The recall will affect beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the federal agency said.

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer said his department has evidence that Westland did not routinely contact its veterinarian when cattle became non-ambulatory after passing inspection, violating health regulations.

“Because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection, Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined them to be unfit for human food and the company is conducting a recall,” Schafer said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »