Where’s the beef? Recall expands…

A Colorado company’s recall last week of beef products possibly contaminated with E. coli has been expanded, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The recall came as a result of “an ongoing investigation into 24 illnesses in multiple states,” the USDA said.

The initial recall of 41,280 pounds announced last Wednesday was voluntarily expanded Sunday to include an additional 380,000 pounds of products made by the JBS Swift Beef Company, of Greeley, Colorado.

The recall came as a result of “an ongoing investigation into 24 illnesses in multiple states, of which at least 18 appear to be associated,” the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a written statement.

On its Web site, the company said the suspect beef was produced at its Greeley plant on April 21 and distributed nationally and internationally. “Each of our customers will be personally informed of this recall by phone,” the wholesaler said. A spokesman would not identify those customers to CNN.

“That’s ridiculous!” said Sarah Klein, a staff attorney for the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest. “JBS should be able to say who they sold meat to, and those companies should be able to say, ‘These are the products we created from them.’ ”

The recall underscores the need for “a comprehensive animal identification system” that would allow meat suppliers to trace their products to an individual ranch, she said…

Symptoms of infection with E. coli bacteria can include severe or bloody diarrhea, vomiting and severe abdominal cramping…

Checking in with TV Talking Heads, this morning, there were a few diligent types who’d taken the time to call JBS, some of the JBS recutters they’d been able to track down – with no cooperation from JBS – and called local supermarkets from national chains to see if anyone knew if any of the contaminated beef was in their local food supply.

Frequent answer? “We haven’t a clue!” Isn’t that special? I called a couple of local chainstore markets and got the same answer.

UPDATE: Got this as part of a longer detailed response from Whole Foods corporate: “We’ve implemented an audit of the chain of custody of every shipment of meat before it is sent to our distribution centers. And our Team Members must be able to determine upon arrival to our distribution centers if a product is from an approved processing plant, or they will not accept the shipment.”

BTW – the JBS cartel now controls 35% of the U.S. beef supply and over 35% of the domestic livestock slaughter. The parent company has been investigated and fined for its cornering of the meat processing market in Brazil, and there is fear that these tactics will soon be seen in the U.S.

In Argentina, you can go to a restaurant and they can tell you which ranch grew the cattle that ended up on your plate; but, the modern industrial colossus that is the GOUSA can’t figure out how to do it.

Or at least the ranchers of America, slaughterhouses like JBS – and their lobbyists haven’t given the FDA and our federal government permission to do so.

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