The hold was a result of allegations based on videotaped abuse of sick and injured cows at the Chino-based Hallmark Meat Packing Co., the slaughterhouse used by Westland Meat Co., taken by undercover investigators of the Humane Society of the United States, according to a Department of Agriculture statement. Hallmark is also in Chino.
The Humane Society of the United States alleged that the cows were being prodded and propped up in order to make them look passable as healthy and ready for consumption, which includes beef distribution in the National School Lunch Program.
As a result, the California Department of Education’s Nutrition Services Division released an alert to all affected district food services departments advising them to hold any “processed end-products” containing beef.
“While the Food Distribution Program is working with these processors to identify end-products made with Westland meat, we cannot be certain at this time what processed end-products you may have received that contain Westland meat,” according to the alert from the state Department of Education.
The district announced Friday that taco salads, teriyaki dunkers, meat sauce and hamburgers as well as any barbecued beef will not be cooked and consumed at any school in the Burbank district next week.
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School PTA President Barbara Miller said she had no concerns about the temporary ban on beef in Burbank schools.
“I’m very happy that the district was very proactive about this, and they communicated to me, which helped me communicate to my other PTA leaders in my school,” Miller said.