Big news this weekend: over 143 million pounds of ground beef from a Southern California slaughterhouse have been recalled by the USDA after a whistle-blower animal-rights activist video showed crippled and sick cows being shoved with forklifts and dragged into buildings with rope around their feet. The worst part of the story? Most of the meat has probably already been packaged, sold, and eaten in school lunches.
The massive amount of beef recalled is four times that recalled in the 1999 ban of 35 million pounds. Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, California, provides meat to many federal and school programs. More below, including the video that started the investigation.
The meat processing plant apparently processed animals that were sick and non-ambulatory and did not contact their vet to inspect and verify that the animals were healthy enough for slaughter and human consumption. This raises the risk of E. coli and other meat-borne diseases, especially if the animals were lying down for long periods of time or sick.
There have not been any illnesses or health issues attributed to this meat, and the health threat is hopefully small. But the animals in the video below were treated very cruelly. It's a demonstration of the power of activism and under-cover journalism, too; we wonder how many other animals have similarly cruel treatment but have no one to document it? Would more slaughterhouses come under the same scrutiny if there were undercover cameras there? .
The video of the meat plant operations is below. Disturbing! You've been warned...
(Image credit: Real Angus