Meat In School Freezers Will Be Thrown Away - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

2/21/08 - Nacogdoches

Meat In School Freezers Will Be Thrown Away

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples gave the go ahead for Texas school districts and other entities to begin disposing more than 765,000 thousand pounds of recalled beef. The meat is part of a nationwide recall.  In Nacogdoches preparations are underway tonight on how to destroy 268 cases of the suspected bad beef. They sit in a NISD freezer. Quantities greater than 50 cases must be taken to a landfill, incinerated, or sent for inedible rendering. Currently, 462 Texas school districts and other entities enrolled in the school breakfast and lunch programs have reported to have meat on hold and now can begin the disposal process.

Following Texas Department of Agriculture Press Release:

AUSTIN - Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples gave the go ahead for Texas school districts and other entities to begin disposing more than 765,000 thousand pounds of recalled beef. The meat is part of a nationwide recall. "We appreciate our schools' partnership in this process. It is important we follow the guidelines set by the federal government and we must continue to focus on our number one responsibility - providing Texas students with safe and healthy foods," Commissioner Staples said. On Feb. 17, the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. recalled 143 million pounds of beef after a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation revealed some cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection at the plant. USDA determined beef processed from the company is unfit for human consumption. When allegations began in early February, the Texas Department of Agriculture ordered all schools to put meat from the company on hold. Currently, 462 Texas school districts and other entities enrolled in the school breakfast and lunch programs have reported to have meat on hold and now can begin the disposal process.    Entities holding 50 cases or fewer may destroy the product on-site by rendering the product unfit for human consumption according to destruction guidance. Quantities greater than 50 cases must be taken to a landfill, incinerated, or sent for inedible rendering. All disposal methods must be fully documented regarding type of product and destruction method and witnessed with two signatures. School districts can download destruction verification/reimbursement forms by going to www.squaremeals.org and clicking on "What's New" or from a link on the Texas Commodity System homepage. TDA Food and Nutrition officials are working closely with school districts to answer questions and provide information as it becomes available. It is critical school districts file proper documentation to ensure reimbursement payments and/or beef replacement. Commissioner Staples also wants to remind Texans the U.S. food supply is safe, and existing federal safeguards and procedures are working to protect all Americans. "I can say with confidence the nation's beef supply is safe. There are multiple protections in place so if there is a lapse in one instance, other systems continue to ensure the food we serve our families is safe and healthy," Commissioner Staples said.   

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