Meat from a Washington state slaughterhouse that contained cuts from a lone cow that tested positive for mad cow disease was sold in as many as nine California counties, but current rules forbid the state or counties from telling consumers exactly where recalled meat was sold.
California Department of Health Services officials have begun notifying counties that meat from a recalled lot of 10,410 pounds of Washington state beef had been tracked to retailers, but also warned counties not to identify which stores or restaurants purchased it. [...]
"This is a zero-risk product," said Steven Cohen, a spokesman for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. [...]
Alameda County health officer Dr. Tony Iton said that local health authorities should be free to disclose information about the recall to their citizenry. "I do think that the USDA has erred in its judgment here. It has sacrificed the public's health in favor of the beef industry," said Iton. "It's absurd to think the most efficient way to conduct a recall is through visiting retailers to see if they have notified their customers." [...]
Bones from cattle with mad cow disease have been found in six restaurants and one food market in Santa Clara County, said Rick Fuchs, director of the consumer protection division of the County Department of Environmental Health.
Rules bar telling which stores, restaurants had tainted meat
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