Action has no local effects, officials says

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Food providers in Brookhaven have thus far not been affected bya USDA beef recall seeking the disposal of 143 million pounds ofbovine processed at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company in Chino,Calif.

The government estimated that at least 37 million pounds of theproduct, dating back to 2006, were shipped to school districtsacross the country – though local school districts were not amongthem.

“None of our USDA commodities have been affected by the recall,”said Tonya McSweyn, food service director of the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict. “None of our USDA beef came from that processing plant(Westland/Hallmark).”

The school district’s beef, all USDA commodity, is purchased andsupplied by the State Department of Education. McSweyn said thedepartment had already notified the Brookhaven district to soundthe all-clear.

Likewise, the Lincoln County School District remains unaffected,its beef products purchased from a different plant, officialssaid.

The recalled beef cannot be purchased in the city, either.

“Our distributor in Birmingham does not buy any beef at all fromthat company,” said Piggly Wiggly Manager Bruce Garrett, whose beefis supplied by Piggly Wiggly of Alabama Distributing.

Wal-Mart has none of the beef in question, and can checkelectronic records in an instant to make sure the recalled meat isnot acquired.

“At this time, we have not been affected,” said Wal-Mart GeneralManager John Antoon. “We can check in a moment’s notice if weare.”