NCBA statement on USDA investigation of Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co.
February 19, 2008
“Today, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a Class II recall involving beef from Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. This recall is happening, out of an abundance of caution, because the company did not follow regulations for handling non-ambulatory cattle.
We support USDA’s recall as a precautionary measure. At the same time, we can say with confidence that the beef supply is safe. We have multiple interlocking safeguards in place in every beef processing plant in America so that if one is bypassed, the other systems continue to ensure the product we serve our families remains safe.
The ban on non-ambulatory or ‘downer’ cattle is one of many steps in a robust system to produce safe beef, but it is not the only step taken to ensure the safety of the beef supply. The beef we eat is safe because there are multiple safety hurdles before it arrives at our grocery stores or restaurants.
As an organization representing beef producers, we have two expectations when our cattle leave our farms and ranches: that our animals are treated humanely and that every step is taken to produce safe beef. We support USDA’s actions today to enforce the laws that ensure our cattle are handled with care and that our beef is produced safely.”