Steak fritter products recalled

Advance Food Co., an Enid, Okla., establishment, is recalling approximately 110,730 pounds of frozen beef steak fritter products that may contain foreign materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The product subject to recall is 9.75-pound bulk cases of "Advance Food Company, Beef Steak Fritter, For Country Frying, Chopped & Formed, Keep Frozen, 13/12.” Each case label bears the establishment number "EST. 2260Y" inside the USDA mark of inspection, a case code of "94612-100" and a "Best if Used By 09/23/2010" sticker located on the end panel. Each case also bears the lot number beginning with "N0239" which is located on the side panel.

The products were produced on September 23, 2009, and distributed to restaurants nationwide and are not available for direct consumer purchase. The problem was discovered after the company received customer complaints about finding pieces of plastic in the product. FSIS has not received any consumer complaints or reports of injury at this time.

Source: FSIS

Paul McCartney to address EU Parliament on meat-free Mondays

Singer Paul McCartney is taking his call to go vegetarian at least once a week to the European Parliament with an address this Thursday. He has also taken his campaign to consumers, stating that there is “clear” evidence that meat production is a major contributor to climate change, according to AFP reports.

"Having one designated meat-free day a week is a meaningful change that everyone can make," he told Parliament magazine. "Above all, remember that the future begins with the actions we take now."

"A lower-meat diet could see greenhouse gases reduced by as much as 80 per cent," he said. "Western countries currently eat meat at least seven times a week, but using a series of projected world diets, latest reports recommend reducing that to twice or three times a week."

Source: AFP

Reservation slaughterhouse struggling with USDA inspection bills

The Little Rockies Meat Packing Plant, located on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana, is struggling from USDA inspection bills from the plant’s bison processing activities. Two months ago, the USDA notified the Fort Belknap Community Council that it would no longer inspect the plant’s bison meat until the overdue bills are paid.

"There's a USDA fee for inspecting buffalo," Howard Main, plant manager, told the Great Falls Tribune. "It's not free like inspections for beef and pork and lamb. We did a substantial amount of buffalo, and a big bill came in with a lot of overtime. We weren't able to pay it. In fact, we're still trying to pay it.”

The plant primarily produces beef products. It had 13 employees at one point but now has five workers. Montana and its Indian Country Economic Development program provided the plant with $55,000 in working capital and inventory in 2005 and 2006. Leesa Nopper, a contractor with the Montana Department of Commerce, has advised the tribe on marketing and said that it has done a good job of marketing its product.
"But supply has been a big problem," she said. "If you can't get the product, you can't make the sales you need."

The plant remains open, though it and a nearby smokehouse is still struggling. Main says the plant hopes to pay its bills and resume bison processing.

"It's always a struggle on the tribal level to make these things successful, but we're giving it everything we've got," he said. "All we can do is keep trying on the marketing end."

Fort Belknap Indian Reservation is homeland to the Gros Ventre and the Assiniboine Tribes. Fort Belknap Indian Reservation is located forty miles south of the Canadian border and twenty miles north of the Missouri River, which is the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is the forth largest Indian reservation in Montana.

Source: Fort Belknap Indian Community, Great Falls Tribune