Richmond pupils ate recalled beef

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Beef pulled as part of a national recall was served to Richmond County pupils, although no one is believed to have become ill.

The beef was served in meatball subs on five occasions, Director of School Nutrition Josephine Mack said Monday, but lunchrooms set it aside as soon as the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a hold on the meat.

About 240 cases of meatballs remain, she said. She was unsure how much had been served or how many pupils had eaten them.

On Sunday, the USDA recalled 143 million pounds of beef that came from a Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. plant in California, where an advocacy group filmed abuse of "downer cattle." Beef was sold to schools as part of the National School Lunch Program. In Georgia, 37 school systems bought products containing the recalled beef, according to the Department of Education.

The risk to schoolchildren, however, is "very, very low," said Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Department of Education. The ongoing investigation has found no tainted meat in Georgia.

"It's important to note, and we need to stress this, the chances of there being problems are very, very low," Mr. Tofig said, adding that there is no chance of meat tainted with "mad cow" disease.

There have been no patterns of illness found in school lunchrooms, he said.

As a Class II recall, there is only a "remote" risk associated with the meat, according to the USDA, which issued a statement.

"I am dismayed at the in-humane handling of cattle that has resulted in the violation of food safety regulations at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company," Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer said in the statement.

The Department of Education notified school systems Monday about how to properly destroy the recalled beef.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (22) Add comment
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Dark_Knight
0
Points
Dark_Knight 02/19/08 - 04:29 am
0
0
As it turns out, that tape

As it turns out, that tape was not what really happened. It was false. Most meat industrys are not brutal like that.

happythoughts
25
Points
happythoughts 02/19/08 - 06:32 am
0
0
That tape was disturbing to

That tape was disturbing to me, I prayed to god to do something about that right now. If I had my way those people who do harm to animals would be punished so badly that no one would want to do that. THIS IS A CRUEL WORLD WE LIVE IN. Who raises children that turn out to be people like that? Uncaring, heartless mongrels!

happythoughts
25
Points
happythoughts 02/19/08 - 06:39 am
0
0
I don't appreciate the TV

I don't appreciate the TV channel showing me the video of the cows being tortured. They snucked that one in on me. I have such a vivid picture of things like that in my mind that don't go away. It hurts.

CHIEF
2
Points
CHIEF 02/19/08 - 08:06 am
0
0
Hey Dark Knight, your an

Hey Dark Knight, your an idoit. Working at th local plant here in Augusta is no different.

RedQuinoa
3998
Points
RedQuinoa 02/19/08 - 08:09 am
0
0
No, most meat industries are

No, most meat industries are not brutal. They just stun the animal with a shot to the head (something like getting whacked with a tire iron); tie a chain-fall to the cow's rear leg and hoist it on a pulley; then eviscerate it, sometimes while it's still alive. Nothing brutal about that, no. :-(

RedQuinoa
3998
Points
RedQuinoa 02/19/08 - 08:20 am
0
0
Don't buy the "very very low"

Don't buy the "very very low" risk disclaimer in this article. Parents whose children have been exposed should be concerned. Also, how does Mr. Tofig know without any doubt that this meat isn't associated with mad cow disease? When cattle eat feed made up from dead animal parts - which is common on factory farm feedlots - then the possibility certainly exists. The human form of mad cow disease (known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) can show up many years after one ingests affected beef. What complicates it more is that symptoms of this disease can be mistakenly diagnosed as Alzheimer's or Huntington disease.

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 02/19/08 - 08:46 am
0
0
Well, my kids took their

Well, my kids took their lunches to school, and now I am glad they do.

webdesigns
0
Points
webdesigns 02/19/08 - 08:51 am
0
0
Wow…. Makes me want to become

Wow…. Makes me want to become a vegetarian!

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/08 - 09:00 am
0
0
After seeing the newscast

After seeing the newscast with the poor sick cows I might never eat beef again. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

He_Who_Must_Not_Be_Named
0
Points
He_Who_Must_Not_Be_Named 02/19/08 - 09:01 am
0
0
Deborah, same here. I thank

Deborah, same here. I thank God my kids are picky eaters.

jus readin
0
Points
jus readin 02/19/08 - 09:33 am
0
0
I would like to know what

I would like to know what schools had the meat. My children attend school locally. Perhaps I should call the school board to see what's going on. Starting tomorrow my children will take their lunches to school. They should have had 'Breaking News' flashing across the television screens - telling parents which schools had the bad beef. What's wrong!!!!!?

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/08 - 09:58 am
0
0
Don't all the schools get the

Don't all the schools get the same products? I would assume that it's bought in bulk and then alloted to the schools.
Even picky eaters often order meat-ball subs.

natep
5
Points
natep 02/19/08 - 10:16 am
0
0
Meat is murder...tasty, tasty

Meat is murder...tasty, tasty murder.

walk_american
0
Points
walk_american 02/19/08 - 11:01 am
0
0
I think all parents should be

I think all parents should be informed if this meat was served in our childrens schools and in what form, ie. meatballs, burgers or something else. I also think the meat should be tested to find out if it is in any way tainted. We all have the right to know and should stand up and make sure we are told.

georgiasouthern
5
Points
georgiasouthern 02/19/08 - 12:04 pm
0
0
Shop at Earth Fare. There the

Shop at Earth Fare. There the cows are required to be treated humanly otherwise the meat cannot be sold there. That is the ONLY place in the CSRA i will by beef now. They are were the old Win Dixie used to be at Furys Ferry Rd and Baston Rd. If you have not been there you should go.

dani
13
Points
dani 02/19/08 - 01:53 pm
0
0
It was on the news.

It was on the news. Meat-ball subs were served in the local schools.

imdstuf
10
Points
imdstuf 02/19/08 - 02:21 pm
0
0
How do we know for sure the

How do we know for sure the beef at Earth Fare is really any different?

jiclemens
0
Points
jiclemens 02/19/08 - 06:27 pm
0
0
An "advocacy group?" Why not

An "advocacy group?" Why not give credit? It was the effort of your friendly neighborhood Humane Society and a hearty "thank you" is deserved. They prove once again poor oversight over the food supply is rampant, whether local or from China.

Dark_Knight
0
Points
Dark_Knight 02/19/08 - 09:31 pm
0
0
maybe we need to start

maybe we need to start packing our kids meals our selves.

Dark_Knight
0
Points
Dark_Knight 02/19/08 - 09:44 pm
0
0
Chief, I am not a idiot,

Chief, I am not a idiot, maybe your plant beats the crap out of cows, but all of them dont. the company in question responded to the tape that was presented, and in their defense explained everything, it was a mistake.

georgiasouthern
5
Points
georgiasouthern 02/19/08 - 11:38 pm
0
0
Their products are tracked

Their products are tracked throughout the process and they only sell from farmers that allow cattle room to roam and that do not use growth hormones. to find out more about organic go to http://www.organic.org/

TRIPP20
0
Points
TRIPP20 02/20/08 - 12:20 pm
0
0
There is nothing better than

There is nothing better than a juicy ribeye!!!

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