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View the list of schools identified as having received recalled beef.

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2008
Contact: Lynne Richmond 
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) -- The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is working to support the United States Department of Agriculture’s efforts in the recall of beef products by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., of Chino, California. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has deemed this a “Class Two” recall, meaning the products in question have only a remote possibility of causing adverse health effects.  Nationwide, more than 143 million pounds of meat are being recalled.

USDA placed an administrative “hold” on Hallmark/Westland beef on January 30, 2008 based on notification of possible violations of USDA regulations.  On February 17, USDA determined that the products destined for federal food assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program, should be removed from schools and other holding facilities and destroyed.  The Department notified the processors who distributed the finished products that they must inform the schools that received the meat of the hold and subsequent recall.

“The Department is working with schools that received the recalled meat to identify how much product remains in inventory and to ensure that product is disposed of properly,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.  “As a result of the administrative hold, the Department proactively contacted all schools in the state in early February, advising them to not use the products in question until further notice.  In this way, the Department reached beyond our notification requirements to inform the schools of the necessary steps for disposal in an effort to keep children safe.”

To date, the Department is aware of five meat processors -- Pierre Foods of Ohio; Maid-Rite Steak Company of Pennsylvania; Silver Springs Farm of Pennsylvania – which received 168,000 pounds of coarse ground beef ordered by the Department from USDA between February 2006 and February 2008.  An additional two processors -- JTM Food Group of Ohio and Advance Food Company -- also distributed recalled beef to schools in New Jersey.  Schools received finished product through the National School Lunch Program, including but not limited to: taco meat, cooked beef patties, frozen steaks, meatballs and beef barbecue nuggets.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) advised all schools in the state of the administrative “hold” earlier this month and has compiled a list of schools that actually received the meat.  This information was provided by the five known processors to date.  There may be additional processors and schools identified and the list will be updated on the NJDA’s website

The Department contacted all schools thus far identified about the recall last week and worked with the state Department of Education to inform those schools of the steps they must take to dispose of the recalled meat. 

The additional schools are required to provide the Department of Agriculture with an inventory form, detailing which products they received and the number of cases remaining in inventory by tomorrow, Thursday, February 28.

The USDA has directed schools with 50 cases or less of recalled product to immediately destroy the meat on-site.  Those with more than 50 cases were directed to take the product to a landfill or incinerator for disposal.  The destruction of the products must be witnessed by a person of authority or a local health department official. Verification of destruction must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture no later than March 12.

This recall concerns USDA commodities containing Hallmark/Westland beef, however, the recall also affects the company’s commercial product.  Interested parties may check the following websites for updates that may include information about commercial product: or

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT (Sent to School Districts February 27, 2008)

This announcement provides information relative to the recall of commodity coarse ground beef (A594) produced by the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company. Your agency has been identified as having received finished processed product that contains this recalled coarse ground beef. Your agency’s name was provided to us by the further processor, and you should have been contacted by them. The further Processors are:

Maid Rite Steak Company
Pierre Frozen Foods
Silver Springs Farm
JTM Provisions
Advance Food Company

On February 17, 2008 it was determined by the USDA that all products produced by Hallmark/Westland destined for federal food assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program would be removed from schools and destroyed. This recall is designated as Class II due to the remote probability that the beef being recalled would cause adverse health effects if consumed.

The product must be destroyed in accordance with the following directions, provided by the USDA.

Please complete the attached Inventory form and fax it to our office (609) 984-5367 no later than Thursday, February 28. All products remaining in inventory must be destroyed.

The attached verification of destruction form must be completed and returned to this office via fax number (609) 984-5367 no later than March 12, 2008.

How to dispose of 50 cases or less of recalled products:

You are authorized immediately to destroy on-site 50 or fewer cases of USDA-purchased Hallmark/Westland ground beef.  These products must be rendered unfit for human consumption according to destruction guidance from your State or local health authority.

  • Destruction must be witnessed by a person of authority, (such as a food service director) and one other person. 
  • Each witness must sign the destruction verification form. 
  • The type of product, quantity, and destruction method must be noted on the form.

How to dispose of more than 50 cases:

More than 50 cases (but less than a truckload) of product must be taken to a landfill, incinerated, or sent for inedible rendering. 

  • Destruction of these larger quantities must be witnessed by a representative of the local health department* and an official from the landfill, incineration plant, or rendering plant. 
  • The destruction verification form must be signed by these two witnesses. 
  • The type of product, quantity, and destruction method must be noted on the form.

*If the health department cannot witness the destruction, they (the health department) must designate an authority which could do so on their behalf.

If you are seeking reimbursement for destruction expenses, please also complete the appropriate section of the form. If you have any questions, please contact the Food Distribution office at (609) 292-0337 or (609) 984-0692.