Beef: Is It Still For Dinner?

A worker throws a piece of meat among cattle carcass scraps dropped into a truck at the Hallmark Meat Packing slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif. in this Jan. 30, 2008 file photo. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef from from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. a Southern California slaughterhouse that is being investigated for mistreating cattle. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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KNOX COUNTY (WVLT) About 30 schools across Tennessee have already been asked to hold off on serving recalled beef.

Knox County schools is on that list and was notified about two weeks ago that an investigation was pending and that a recall was possible.

Elsewhere in East Tennessee, a total of eleven schools have been told to hold the recalled beef.

They are Anderson and Blount counties, the Episcopal School of Knoxville, Jefferson, Knox and Monroe counties.

Oneida city schools, Roane County, Sevier, Unicoi and Union County schools.

Knox County school officials tell us that Knox County schools stores very little food.

But bad beef in Knox County Schools was found at West Valley Middle School.

Russ Oaks is Director of Public Affairs with Knox County Schools and says, "our food service personnel went back and looked at the stock that we have on hand, and we had one, thirty-pound case. And that's been set aside."

Oaks says Knox County does not do a lot of warehousing of food and uses it as quickly as it gets it.

But what about beef from the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company before the recall?

Oaks continues, "it would be really impossible to go back and determine if the USDA had sent us any beef from this packer previously."

Oaks says no one has reported any ill affects that may have been associated with this particular beef to this point.

As for now, Oaks says, "USDA has pulled the beef supplier. They're no longer sending it out. Of course, we'll certainly check the shipments to make sure there's none there."

From the school house to your house, what about when you shop for ground beef?

David Zehner is co-manager at the Fresh Market in Western Plaza and says, "we want to reassure all our customers that our meat is safe. That the Fresh Market has not and does not buy from the recalled meat company."

The store's customers were buying with confidence this afternoon even after hearing about the recall.

Shopper Harvey Smeltzer says, "it didn't matter. Because I know they have good beef here. And I'm not worried about it."

Shopper Jenna Tacker says, "I''m not too worried. I'm just going to trust that they know what is going on with it. So, I can't stop eating beef."

But what if you have doubts?

One butcher WVLT spoke with said to ask your butcher questions like, is the store's beef branded and ask if they grind their beef in-house.

Most stores sell branded beef.

When you buy branded beef, it's coming from a plant that has its own inspection process at the plant.

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