WASHINGTON, December, 30, 2003 -- CropChoice news -- UPI, 12/29/03:
An Oregon woman said Monday she unwittingly consumed
some of the recalled beef that may have contained meat
from the mad cow detected in Washington earlier this
month, as federal officials announced the questionable
meat had been sent to 42 more facilities than previously
In addition, eight more Canadian cows apparently came
into the United States in 2001 with the 74 that contained
the cow in Mabton, Wash., that tested positive for mad
cow on Dec. 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said
in a news briefing Monday.
"The additional eight (cows) came on a subsequent
shipment," USDA's chief veterinary officer Ron
"We don't know at this point where those animals
are," DeHaven said. "It's our understanding
all of them did come into the state of Washington,"
he said, adding that authorities are currently trying
to locate their whereabouts.
The woman, who lives in Williams, Ore., told United
Press International the meat was purchased and consumed
before the mad cow case or the recall was announced.
She declined to give her name because her family has
business contacts with many ranchers but said she purchased
the meat in Murphy, Ore., on Dec. 20 and she and her
husband ate it the next day. The mad cow case was not
announced until Dec. 23 and the recall was not initiated
until Dec. 24.
The USDA recalled 10,000 pounds of beef that may have
contained meat from the Holstein cow in Mabton. The
agency said Sunday the meat went to Guam and eight states
-- California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii,
Idaho and Montana.
Officials expanded the distribution on Monday to say
it had reached 42 additional facilities.
The vast majority of the additional product -- at least
80 percent -- was distributed to the states of Oregon
and Washington, said Kenneth Petersen of USDA's Food
Safety and Inspection Service.
USDA officials said the recall was initiated out of
an abundance of caution and the meat probably did not
pose a risk to consumers because the most infectious
parts of the animal -- the brain, spinal cord and lower
intestines -- had been removed.
The watchdog group Public Citizen, however, warns consumers
to avoid certain cuts of meat because they can contain
nervous tissue, such as the brain and spinal cord. These
cuts of meat include beef cheeks, neck bones, T-bone
steaks and any meat that comes from the head or spinal
Public Citizen also advises consumers to avoid ground
beef, hog dogs, salami and bologna because they are
sometimes made from meat processed by advanced meat
recovery machines that can contaminate the meat with
USDA's Petersen said AMR machines were not used to
process any of the recalled beef.
Dalton Hobbs, spokesman for the Oregon Department of
Agriculture, told UPI, "There's a good likelihood
that people have consumed some of this recalled product"
because much of the meat was turned into ground meat,
which is typically consumed shortly after purchasing.
The infected cow was slaughtered on Dec. 9 and distributed
to commercial establishments a few days after that.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has received calls
from consumers worried about whether they consumed some
of the recalled beef. But Hobbs said his department
cannot confirm whether the consumed beef was subject
to the recall because the USDA has not provided state
officials with a list of retailers or products involved.
The recall came from the federal level and is being
"managed and overseen by the USDA," Hobbs
said. "We wouldn't really have any role in that
unless asked by the USDA to assist and we have not been
asked by them to assist," he said.
So far, the large supermarket chains of Albertson's,
Safeway, WinCo and Fred Meyer are known to have received
some of the recalled beef, Hobbs said. Some smaller
stores, so-called "mom and pop shops," also
may have received the beef, he said.