Two recalls do not a trend make, but it makes you wonder if just maybe the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service is looking under a few more tongues in recent days.

Coming on the heels of an Omaha meatpacker’s recall of 33,000 pounds of beef tongues came word over the weekend that giant Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation’s Milwaukee plant was recalling about 5,522 pounds of beef tongue.

It was for the same reason.  Tonsils, a specified risk material (SRM) for containing the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), might not have been completely removed.

FSIS regulations require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages as a defense against BSE, which of course is also known as Mad Cow Disease.

Cargill’s tongue product subject to the recall is described as:  “Various weight cases of ‘BEEF TONGUE #1 White.’ Each case bears the establishment number ‘EST. 17690’ on the product label.”

The beef tongue products were produced between the dates of October 12, 2009 and October 14, 2009, and were shipped to distribution centers in Illinois for further sale.

FSIS said it discovered the problem tongues during an inspection of the Cargill establishment.
Whether we learn where the risky tongues went after being sent out to Cargill’s distribution centers is doubtful.  Like the J.F. O’Neill recall last Thursday, FSIS has classified these withdrawn beef tongues as a Class II, Low Risk affair.

That means there will be no retail lists coming as FSIS only provides those for Class I, High Risk recalls.

FSIS does say that it routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

The J.F. O’Neill recalled beef tongues were described as:

Various weight cases of “BEEF TONGUES.” Each case bears the establishment number “EST. 889A” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were sold under the following brand names: 


  • Please, whatever do they use the tongues for? Do they end up in some other form as a different product? This just sends shivers down my back!

  • Monday, October 19, 2009
    Atypical BSE, BSE, and other human and animal TSE in North America Update October 19, 2009
    October 19, 2009
    An update of sorts on atypical BSE and other TSE in North America, reported, and or, not reported. Please remember, the _typical_ U.K. c-BSE, the l-BSE (BASE), and the h-BSE have all been documented in North America, along with the typical scrapie’s, and atypical Nor-98 Scrapie, and to date, 2 different strains of CWD, and also TME. please remember, all these TSE in different species have been rendered and feed to food producing animals for humans and animals in North America (absolutely no idea of TSE in cats and dogs see reference on that), and that the trading of these TSEs via animals and products via the USA and Canada has been so immense over the years, decades, that it was like swapping spit between two lovers. also, please remember, in my opinion (I will show the facts to prove this), Canada is Looking to find TSE in cattle, and the USA has done just the opposite, the look NOT to find and report. The SSS policy has been in full force in the USA for some time. also, there will be some additional information on Transmission studies. Also, what about any human TSE there from, and the surveillance there of ???
    With that said, I present you with these facts as follows. There is new data mixed up with old data, so don’t miss any of it. …kind regards, terry

  • Helen Dick

    Does the Cargill recall include tongues with label saying to “Use or freeze by Oct. 22, 09”?