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Monday, February 18, 2008

Prodding Cattle to a 143 Million Pound Beef Recall

The beef industry this week is looking at the largest recall in beef across the country in history.  It stems from secret video that capture workers at a meat packing plant using electric cattle prods and fork lifts to move cattle that couldn't walk to the butchering area.

Cattle that can't walk are not allowed to be butchered and sold for consumption as they may be at a greater risk for mad cow disease.

Not being able to walk is one of the symptoms.

The plant claims that the animals cleared inspection just fine before this occurred, which either means the cattle lost the ability to walk afterwards (still not ok), someone subverted their inspection process, or the cattle got cold hooves about getting butchered, not realizing that if they had BSD they would be put down just the same.

Currently, the recall is estimated to hit 143 million pounds of US beef from one California plant.  As past recalls have indicated, this may be just the tip of the latest ice berg, like getting wave after wave of Macys coupons in the mail leading up to Black Friday.

This latest recall however, could spread as more plants review their own processes and work to prove that they are not pushing a fork lift in a cow before its ready to be cooked.