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 Like the J.F. O’Neill recall last Thursday, FSIS has classified these withdrawn beef tongues as a Class II, Low Risk affair.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: ”J.F. O’NEILL PACKING CO.,” “WHOLE FOODS NATURAL,” “WHOLE FOODS ORGANIC,” “PREMIER PROTEIN PARTNERS,” “MONTANA RANCH BRAND,” “GRASSLAND BEEF,” “AUSTIN MEATS,” “MORGAN RANCH,” “KOBE BEEF AMERICA,” “IMPERIAL WAGYU BEEF,” “BRAND ADVANTAGE WAGYU,” “BRAND ADVANTAGE PARTNERS,” “YAMAYA U.S.A.,” and “A.D. ROSENBLATT