Beef recall affects schools in N.C.

February 18, 2008 5:19:57 PM PST
The Wake County Public School System is among 25 school districts in the state affected by the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

Spokesperson Bill Poston tells Eyewitness News that the system was alerted about three weeks ago and that the meat has been "sitting in limbo," ever since.

Gary Gay, the director of the Food Distribution Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture says so far there have been no reported illnesses locally or nationally. Still he tells parents who believe their children may have gotten sick from the meat should report the illness to their school district.

Gay tells Eyewitness News that 104,000 pounds of meat sitting in schools in 25 districts will be destroyed on school grounds or at landfills depending on how much a school has.

Over the weekend the USDA ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from California meatpacker Westland/Hallmark. Officials said the company did not prevent sick animals from entering the U.S. food supply. The meat included in the recall was produced between February 2006 and February 2008.

Gay tells Eyewitness News that school districts order the "raw product" that is sent to local companies to make beef patties, meatballs, meat loaf, chili, taco meat and spaghetti sauce served in school lunches. Poston tells Eyewitness News that Wake uses meat from other sources too not just the USDA program. He says the meat being served today is not part of the recall.

More school districts could be included in the recall. "We're still waiting on confirmation from other districts," Gay said.

School districts with beef being recalled:

Asheboro City
Caldwell
Carteret
Chapel Hill
Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Cleveland
Davie
Duplin
Gaston
Granville
Greene
Guilford
Hickory City
Johnston
Lenoir
New Hanover
Onslow
Pitt
Randolph
Rowan
Sampson
Surry
Wake
Washington
Wayne


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