Based on violations of Federal regulations and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety, announced a Notice of Suspension from the Food Safety Inspection Service for Hallmark/Westland Meat Company on Tuesday. The suspension will remain in affect until the company submits written corrective actions for humane handling of animals and FSIS verifies them.
"On Jan. 30, USDA placed an administrative hold on all Hallmark/Westland Meat products because of potential violations of regulatory requirements and contractual terms as a supplier of products to the Federal food and nutrition programs," Raymond says. "USDA also indefinitely suspended the eligibility of Hallmark/Westland Meat Company to participate as a supplier to Federal food and nutrition programs, specifically the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations."
FSIS, the Office of the Inspector General, and USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, at the request of Ag Secretary Ed Schafer, are conducting an investigation into charges of inhumane treatment of non-ambulatory cattle at Hallmark/Westland Meat Company.
"We maintain an inspection system that safeguards the safety and wholesomeness of our food supply," Raymond says. "USDA will take appropriate action based on the findings of the investigation."