Some schools served beef at center of recall

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(Host) Some Vermont schools served frozen ground beef from a California slaughterhouse before they were notified it would be recalled.

That’s what happened in Rutland. Marty Irion is food service director in nine schools in and around Rutland.

(Irion)“Our program depends on the usage of USDA commodities. When we get it in we start menuing it and using it. Of course, we’re handling it properly. It’s cooked to proper temperatures, held at proper temperatures, stored at proper temperatures. The risk on our side here is basically very, very minimal. We’re counting on the USDA to supply is with beef that’s healthy.”

(Host) More than 143 million pounds of frozen ground beef was recalled over the weekend. That came after allegations that a California company was slaughtering cows that might have been sick.

Vermont officials say 40,000 pounds of the meat was delivered to public schools and child care centers.

Irion says the ground beef is valuable in making the 2,000 meals served every day in his district.

(Irion) “We don’t have a delivery of regular purchased foods every day. We get our deliveries, most schools once a week. We really had to scramble to try to find replacement meals.”

(Host) Rutland schools are on winter vacation this week. So that’s allowed cafeteria workers to destroy the beef they had left and replace it with new supplies.

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