LC-M carves beef from school lunches
In light of the United States Department of Agriculture ordered recall of over 143.4 million pounds of beef, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD released a statement Monday night stating that it has not served beef in the school district since Jan. 31.
“The Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD has not served beef in school lunches since the Region V Education Service Center in Beaumont first notified districts that the USDA had placed an Administrative Hold on commodity beef coming from the Westland Meat Company, pending further investigation of a beef supplier’s treatment of the animals,” read the statement.
The largest recall of beef in American History was due to allegations of mistreatment and mishandling of “downer” cows. “Downer” cows are cattle that are no longer ambulatory due to injury or illness. Cows that can not walk are forbidden to enter the food chain without being thoroughly checked out by veterinarians to make sure the cows are healthy accept for serious injury that keeps them from walking. Westland Meat Company was not following those procedures.
Humane Society video showed animals being shocked with cattle prods and pushed with fork lifts to make them stand up.
All beef from the Westland Meat Company processed from Feb. 1, 2006 to Feb. 2, 2007 is included in the recall. The USDA says most of the beef has already been consumed, but feels that the danger from eating the beef is negligible, because none of the beef has tested positive for disease and there have been no reports of illness from eating the meat.
Also, most of the cows mistreated were 5 to 7 years old, which means they were never fed products that were potentially contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE which causes “mad cow” disease. The U. S. prohibited the use of those products in 1997.
Cattle can not catch BSE from one another, they only catch it after eating feed made from animals infected with BSE.
All Westland products carry the company’s federal establishment number — EST 336 — as well as the packing date.
The LCM District did have 132 cases of processed commodity beef products, but none of these have been used. No meals have been served containing beef at LC-M schools since the possible recall was first announced by Region V on January 31, 2008.
If you have additional questions, please contact Suzanne Magee, LCM’s Director of Food Services, at 883-2232, extension 2440.
Details about this recall and USDA actions are available at www.usda.gov/actions .