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From: TSS ()
Subject: WHAT TO DO IF YOU CONSUME A USA MAD COW OR ANY OF IT'S COHORTS or any suspicious stumblilng and staggering cow
Date: June 29, 2005 at 2:00 pm PST

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################


a bit of info. on the 1st mad cow that was _documented_ in the USA, and the
ramifications from the secrecy from that mad cow;




QUALITY FOOD CENTERS, INC., an Ohio corporation Defendent

NO. 04-2-05608-0 SEA


The Court hereby GRANTS the defendant's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's
claims based on a manufacturer's strict liability (Counts I and II) and
DENIES the defendant's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claim of negligence
by a product seller (Count III).

DATED this 14th day of June, 2004


Date Filed: March 5, 2004
Court: King County Superior Court (Washington)
Location: Seattle
Ticker Symbol: NYSE:KR

Join This Suit
Tell a Friend

Consumers filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Quality Food Centers
(QFC), a subsidiary of Kroger (NYSE: KR), claiming the grocery store chain
should have used information gathered through its customer loyalty program
to warn those who purchased beef potentially tainted with �mad cow disease.�
The USDA issued a recall notice for the meat on December 23, 2003. QFC sold
the meat through its approximately 40 stores across Washington.

The suit claims that even though QFC had the ability to quickly warn every
customer who purchased the potentially deadly meat if they used the QFC
Advantage Card at the time of purchase, the grocery store neglected to do

The suit seeks to represent every consumer in Washington state who purchased
the recalled meat from QFC.

Recent Updates

June 14, 2004 - the King County Superior Court gave the green light to a
suit claiming QFC didn't do enough to warn customers about beef potentially
tainted with 'mad cow disease,' finding enough questions about the beef and
QFC's responsibility to explore in the courtroom.

Read the court order.

QFC - 'Mad Cow' Frequently Asked Questions

The Suit

What is the key issue in this suit?
On December 23, 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
recalled more than 10,000 pounds of raw beef that could have been exposed to
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Humans consuming BSE-tainted meat
can contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), an always-fatal condition.

QFC sold this meat throughout its stores in Washington. Even though QFC had
the ability to quickly warn every customer who purchased the potentially
deadly meat if they used the QFC advantage card at the time of purchase, the
grocery store neglected to do so, the suit alleges.

Who does the suit seek to represent?
The suit seeks to represent all persons who purchased recalled meat from any
QFC store in the state of Washington.

Who are the defendants?
Quality Food Centers, or QFC. Once a local, Northwest company, QFC is now a
wholly owned subsidiary of the grocery chain giant, Kroger.

What does the suit seek?
The suit asks the court to order QFC to establish a medical monitoring fund
which would allow those who purchased and consumed the meat to seek medical
care, checking for � and if necessary, treating --- the infection of vCJD.
The suit also seeks the creation of a medical notification system, allowing
those who may have been exposed to the disease to receive periodic updates
on research and treatment of vCJD. The suit also seeks unspecified damages
for the plaintiffs.

Does the suit claim QFC violated specific laws?
Yes. The lawsuit claims QFC violated the Washington Product Liability Act.
In addition, the suit claims QFC was negligent by not warning consumers of
the dangers associated with the affected meat.

Where was the lawsuit filed?
The suit was filed in King County Superior Court on March 4, 2004.

How do I determine if I qualify to join the lawsuit?
If you have a QFC Advantage card and believe that you bought recalled meat
from a QFC store, you may be eligible to join the lawsuit. Click here to
fill out the sign-up request form, or you can contact Hagens Berman


What is the QFC Advantage Card?
The Advantage Card is known in the grocery industry as a Customer Loyalty
Card. Customers who sign up for QFC�s Advantage Card receive special
discounts on selected items, but gives the grocery store chain the ability
to track consumers� purchases in order to enhance their marketing efforts.
In addition, grocery chains which offer affinity card programs often use the
database and shopping pattern data to send users coupons and other marketing
material. According to the complaint, QFC tracks every purchase made by
consumers presenting the Advantage Card, including product description, date
of purchase, store of purchase and the price, and saves that data with
customer contact information.

What was QFC�s response to the meat recall?
On Dec. 23, 2003, QFC received notice from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) of a recall of approximately 10,410 lbs. of raw meat that
may have been contaminated with the infectious agent that causes �mad cow�
disease. QFC did not act immediately on the recall notice but initially
responded by denying that it had any of the tainted meat. On December 24 QFC
pulled the meat from its shelves, but the company took no steps to directly
warn consumers. It was not until Dec. 27 that QFC posted small signs in its
stores recalling the tainted beef, according to the complaint. During that
four day period when QFC was silent hundreds of consumers may have eaten the

Can QFC determine if an Advantage Card holder purchased the potentially
dangerous meat?
Yes. In fact, consumers can now contact QFC directly and the company will
provide information about meat purchases � but only if you ask. Hundreds of
other consumers who purchased the meat and are unaware of the situation have
not heard from QFC, the complaint states.

Why was QFC sued even though they pulled the meat?
Under Washington law since QFC ground the meat it is deemed a manufacturer
and is strictly liable for any unsafe product. In addition QFC possessed
specific and easily obtainable information on which customers purchased the
recalled meat, but did not act to inform customers, the suit states.
Considering the potential danger and risk of worry for consumers, and the
ease of contacting consumers using database information, simply pulling the
meat from the shelves and belatedly posting small signs was not an adequate
response, according to the complaint.

What information on customer purchases does QFC track with the Advantage
QFC tracks every purchase that a customer with an Advantage Card makes,
regardless of whether discounts are offered or not, according to the

Does the recently announced larger-than-expected recall of beef affect the
No. Regardless of the size of the beef recall, attorneys believe the facts
in the case remain the same.

How can I find out if I bought recalled meat from QFC?
If you believe that you may have purchased recalled meat from a QFC store,
and you have an Advantage Card, you can contact QFC and ask if your record
shows you purchased recalled beef. You can contact QFC at 866-221-4141.

Isn�t QFC prohibited by privacy laws from contacting consumers with warnings
like this?
No � the suit notes that the company will return car keys returned to the
store if the keys have an Advantage Card attached. According the complaint,
If QFC can return car keys by mail, why can�t they send a notice saying the
meat a customer purchased in their store could cause an incurable, fatal
disease? Further privacy laws would prevent QFC from disclosing information
to third parties, disclosing the information to the customer whose card it
is does not violate privacy laws. For example, if a trade group wanted to
know the names of consumers who purchased a given drug sold at QFC,
disclosure of that private information might be a privacy concern. However,
disclosure to a consumer of his own records is not.

�Mad Cow� Disease

What is Mad Cow disease?
In cows, mad cow disease is defined as bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE), and is a progressive neurological disease. The human disease variant
is know as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), which is a rare brain disorder
that causes a rapid, progressive dementia and is always fatal, according to
the complaint.

Where can I get more information on Mad Cow disease?
The USDA provides information on the disease at

What should I do if I believe that I�ve eaten recalled meat?
According to the complaint, no screening tests or treatments have been found
for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Those who suspect they�ve eaten recalled meat
should contact their physician for more information.

Do Stores That Offer Loyalty Cards Have a Duty to Notify Customers of
Product Safety Recalls?
A Recent Suit Raises This Novel Question

Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004

An interesting new Washington state court suit raises an important question:
If a retailer benefits from collecting personally identifiable information
about its customers, does it have a corresponding duty to use such data to
alert its customers that products they've bought have been recalled for
health or safety reasons? And if so, could turning over private data to
companies actually create benefits, as well as privacy risks, for the

In the suit, consumer Jill Crowson is suing her grocery store -- Quality
Food Center (QFC), a subsidiary of Kroger -- for negligent infliction of
emotional distress and disregard of a "duty to warn" under the Washington
Product Liability Act. Crowson alleges in her complaint that QFC failed to
alert her family that ground beef it had sold them had been recalled in
December's mad-cow scare.

Yet, Crowson says, QFC easily could have done so through information it
maintained connected with her Advantage card - a "loyalty card" that meant
QFC had Crowson's name, address and purchasing information. According to her
complaint, QFC tracks every purchase made by consumers presenting the
Advantage Card, including product description, date of purchase, store of
purchase and the price, and saves that data alongside customer contact

Now, Crowson says, her family members "feel like walking time bombs" knowing
they may be infected with the human form of mad-cow disease which the
complaint states may have an up-to-30-year incubation period. And they are
not the only ones: Crowson is seeking class action status for herself and
what she believes are "hundreds" of similarly-situated Washington customers
at QFC's approximately 40 stores in the state.

Some lawyers think Crowson's suit is a stretch. Federal law does not impose
on companies a specific duty to notify consumers when tainted meat is
recalled under the direction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),
as was the case here. Also, Crowson and her family, and the class she seeks
to represent, are suing based on fear (and possible future harm), not
current illness. Moreover, the chance they will actually get Mad Cow Disease
some time in the future are apparently remote.

Nevertheless, the lawsuit has strong intuitive appeal: QFC could have saved
the Crowsons and others like them a lot of worry, and perhaps sleepless
nights, with what appears would have been minimal effort, using information
at its digital fingertips. And the court has already once refused to dismiss
it - finding that there were sufficient factual questions about the beef and
about QFC's responsibility to the Crowsons, to merit further exploration of
the evidence, through discovery and in the courtroom.

Regardless of the outcome of Crowson's suit, it underscores the need for
retailers and policymakers to examine what sort of responsibilities come
with private data gathering under loyalty card schemes.

The Lawsuit: The Chronology of Facts Alleged, and the Loyalty Card at Issue

On December 22 and 23, 2003, Crowson bought ground beef from a QFC store.
Also on December 23, 2003, the USDA recalled Washington beef after it
confirmed that a cow slaughtered in Washington had been infected with Mad
Cow Disease. But Crowson says QFC did not pull the affected meat from its
shelves until December 24, and did not post signs in its stores announcing
the recall until December 27. By then, the Crowson family had eaten the

Crowson states that she only learned of the recall by reading an article in
her local newspaper. She said she subsequently called the supermarket chain,
then faxed QFC a letter asking that her purchase be traced through her QFC
Advantage card. On January 10, she was notified that her ground beef
purchase was indeed from the recalled batch.

Crowson says that what QFC allegedly did in response to the recall - pulling
the beef from shelves the next day, and posting signs three days after
that -- was far from enough. She says it should have immediately warned
customers who had bought possibly tainted meat through newspaper, radio and
television advertising -- and by contacting individually those who, like
her, had Advantage cards. Its failure to do so, she says, is what makes the
company liable to her and other shoppers.

The Advantage Card is known in the retail industry as a customer "loyalty
card" - providing discounts on specific items, in exchange for consumer
information that will aid in better tailoring the company's marketing
efforts. Combining the data from one's loyalty card application with data
from other commercial databases or public records (for examples, mortgage
records, or court filings) can often allow a very specific profile of each

Some states limit the types of information that a grocery store can collect
from you when you register for a loyalty card. For example, California state
law prohibits a grocery store from requiring that you turn over your social
security or your driver's license number.

Companies, of course, stress the potential savings that might result from
use of a loyalty card. Consider, for instance, the sales pitch on the QFC
website it reads: "If you don't have a QFC Advantage Card, you're missing
out! The Advantage Card is a powerful new way to save on the groceries you
buy every day. It gives you the best of all possible worlds: premium
quality, superb service and lower prices. That's something no other grocery
store can match. So make sure you take advantage of the big savings."

Privacy advocates complain that loyalty cards result in the improper use -
and, often, sale to third parties - of customers' private information. QFC
apparently doesn't sell customers' data to third parties, however. Its
website promises that "QFC will not release your name to any list service or
manufacturer, and that such information will be held in the strictest of
confidence-even within our company."

Privacy advocates also warn, however, that even if third-party sales of data
are not allowed, the data compiled can always be accessed with a subpoena or
warrant and used against the customer in court proceedings. Meanwhile,
consumer advocates claim that certain loyalty cards don't really offer the
savings they promise. Nevertheless, numerous stores employ loyalty cards.

Turning the Privacy Debate on Its Head: With Great Information, Comes Great

The Crowson lawsuit turns the privacy debate on its head. Typically, privacy
advocates ask retailers to safeguard the personal information they collect
about their shoppers. In this case, in contrast, plaintiff is asking that
QFC delve into its database to notify her about a meat recall.

QFC does this very thing if a consumer loses his or her keys with an
Advantage Card attached to them - returning the keys free of charge. So
Crowson's attorney, Steve Berman, asks: "If they can contact you over a lost
set of car keys, why couldn't they contact you and tell you that the beef
you purchased could kill you?"

According to some news reports, QFC was reluctant to call customers
regarding the recall based on privacy concerns. But in this case, the
concerns seem misplaced. No privacy law is violated when a consumer
communicates with the customer herself regarding private information -
indeed, every offer the customer receives is, in a sense, this kind of
communication. When the customer is receiving personalized discounts based
on her purchase history, why can't she receive personalized health and
safety warnings based on that history, too?

Was There a Duty to Warn Here?

From the law's perspective, the question will be not whether QFC ideally
should have warned the Crowsons - of course it should have. The question
will be if it had a legal duty to do so. Such a duty would come from either
the common law of torts, which allows claims where there is a duty to behave
reasonably to prevent foreseeable harm to others. . Or it might come from
the Washington product liability statute - which, as noted above, creates a
"duty to warn" in certain situations.

And of course, if there is no current duty, the legislature may see fit to
pass a statute creating such a duty. :It may seem more prudent, however, for
retailers to voluntarily assume such a responsibility. When companies
benefit from collecting customer information, shouldn't they also assume a
duty to protect customers from known risks associated with that very
information? Some risks, of course, may be a matter of opinion. But this one
was not: The fact of the risk was acknowledged by the USDA recall of the
meat. With this kind of clear notice of the risk, it seems that QFC either
does - or ought to - have a duty to protect customers from this risk.

Of course, should a retailer not wish to take on this responsibility, it can
also change its loyalty program. QFC and other retailers could still track
consumer purchases without asking them for personally identifiable

FindLaw's Writ - Ramasastry: Mad Cow in the USA


----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 10:12 PM
Subject: FDA Statement on USDA BSE Positive Test Results

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

FDA STATEMENT: June 24, 2005
Media Inquiries: Suzanne Treviño, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Statement on USDA BSE Positive Test Results

"The Food and Drug Administration, along with the USDA, is committed to
ensuring the safety of the U.S. human food and animal feed supply from BSE
(bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Today we saw that the system worked.
The safety measures that FDA and USDA have put in place successfully kept
this animal that has tested positive for BSE out of the food and feed
supply. These existing safeguards have proven extremely effective, and the
American public should feel secure in knowing that the current animal feed
rule already provides significant protection against the spread of BSE. We
will continue to work closely with the USDA on this important public health
issue and evaluate every option to strengthen the 1997 animal feed ban."


>We will continue to work closely with the USDA on this important public
health issue <

damn, i wish they could make there mind up. you got johann et al saying it
is NOT a public health issue, and the FDA saying it IS. i know it is, but i
wish they would get there stories straight.

I remember similar statements made by USDA/APHIS et al before, when that
2003 Washington Cow old Dave capped, that _healthy walker_ not a downer, i
remember those same similar statements at first.

I am very curious;

1. cohorts history of this animal, the same feed they ate as the cow that
tested postive. so where are they and who comsumed them?

2. the feed this animal ate. where was it purchased and what other cows
consumbed this feed?

3. ITS been 8 months and we still dont know officially the exact location of
this animal. where was this animal from? exact location. the consumer needs
to know.

what happened to all that timely information we were to recieve?

what about those that consumed the other cohorts of the other mad cow in the

* GAO-05-51 October 2004 FOOD SAFETY (over 500 customers receiving
potentially BSE contaminated beef) - TSS 10/20/04

October 2004 FOOD SAFETY
USDA and FDA Need
to Better Ensure
Prompt and Complete
Recalls of Potentially
Unsafe Food


Page 38 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
To examine the voluntary recall of beef products associated with the
December 2003 discovery of an animal infected with BSE, we analyzed the
distribution lists USDA collected from companies and the verification
checks it conducted to develop a diagram illustrating the location and
volume of recalled beef that reached different levels of the distribution
chain. We compared the distribution lists and verification checks to
identify how many customers listed on the distribution lists did not
the recalled beef and the number of customers not listed on distribution
lists that received the recalled beef. We interviewed USDA and FDA staff
involved with the recall to understand the timing of recall actions and the
challenges encountered during the recall.
To develop information on the 2002 recall of ground beef by a ConAgra
plant in Greeley, Colorado, we reviewed USDAs recall file and other
documents on the recall. We also met with the departments Office of
Inspector General and reviewed the Inspector Generals September 2003
We conducted our review from May 2003 through August 2004 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
1U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Great
Plains Region Audit
Report: Food Safety and Inspection Service: Oversight of Production
Process and Recall at
ConAgra Plant (Establishment 969), Report No. 24601-2-KC (September 2003).
Page 39 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE Appendix II
On December 23, 2003, USDA announced that a cow in the state of
Washington had tested positive for BSEcommonly referred to as mad
cow disease. This appendix describes the actions USDA took to recall the
meat and the actions FDA took with respect to FDA-regulated products,
such as animal feed and cosmetics, made from rendered parts of the
Beef Recall Was
Triggered by a BSEPositive
Sample from
One Cow
On December 9, 2003, the recalling company slaughtered 23 cows. USDA,
in accordance with its BSE surveillance policy at the time, took a
sample of
1 cow that was unable to walk, although the condition of the tested cow is
now disputed. USDA did not process the sample in its Ames, Iowa National
Veterinary Services Laboratory in an expedited manner because the cow
did not show symptoms of neurological disorder. USDA test results
indicated a presumptive positive for BSE on December 23, 2003.
Recall Begun in
December 2003 Was
Completed in March
On December 23, 2003, after learning about the positive BSE test, USDA
headquarters notified the Boulder District Office, which is the field
with jurisdiction over the recalling firm. The Boulder District began
gathering information about the recalling companys product distribution.
Field staff telephoned the recalling company and were on-site at 7:00 p.m.
The Boulder District initially thought 3 days of the recalling companys
production would have to be recalled, but further examination of facility
cleanup and shipping records revealed that it was only necessary to
recall 1
day of production. USDA recall staff convened at 9:15 p.m. and discussed
the science related to BSE and whether the recalling companys cleanup
practices were sufficient to limit the recall to 1 day of production.
Following USDAs determination to conduct a Class II recallthat is, the
beef posed a remote possibility of adverse health consequencesUSDA
contacted the recalling company to discuss recall details and the press
release. The press release and Recall Notification Report were released
that evening.
On December 24, 2003, USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
sent inspectors to the recalling companys primary customers to obtain
secondary customer distribution lists and product shipping records. USDA
conducted 100 percent verification checks for this recallit contacted
every customer that received the recalled meat. This level of verification
checks is well above the percentage of checks conducted by USDA district
offices for the Class I recalls we reviewed.
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 40 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
On December 26, 2003, USDA began checking the primary and secondary
customers of the recalling company that it was aware of, although the
entire product distribution chain was unknown. During the checks, USDA
tried to determine if the product was further distributed, and it used
verification checks to acquire distribution lists for secondary and
customers of the recalling company.
Verification checks continued until February 25, 2004. Three USDA
districts conducted these verification checks. The Boulder District
coordinated the checks and assigned checks to the Minneapolis District
Office for customers in Montana and to the Alameda District Office for
customers in California. USDA required that 100 percent of the primary
checks, 50 percent of the secondary checks, and 20 percent of the tertiary
checks be conducted on-site. According to USDA, more than 50 percent of
the secondary checks were actually conducted on-site. FDA officials
helped conduct verification checks. According to USDA, the recall took a
long time to complete because USDA contacted each customer at least
twice. USDA first contacted each customer to conduct the check and again
to verify product disposition.
On February 25, 2004, the Boulder District concluded that the recall was
conducted in an effective manner. On March 1, 2004, USDAs Recall
Management Division recommended that the agency terminate the recall,
and USDA sent a letter to the recalling company to document that USDA
considered the recall to be complete.
Recall Was
Complicated by
Inaccurate Distribution
Lists and Mixing of
Contaminated and
Noncontaminated Beef
USDA used distribution lists and shipping records to piece together where
the recalled product was distributed. According to USDA, one of the
recalling companys three primary customers was slow in providing its
customer list. USDA could not begin verification activities for that
customer without this list. Furthermore, some customers of the recalling
company provided USDA with imprecise lists that did not specify which
customers received the recalled product. As a consequence, USDA could
not quickly determine the scope of product distribution and had to take
time conducting extra research using shipping invoices to determine which
specific customers received the product.
Even when USDA determined the amount and location of beef, the agency
still had trouble tracking the beef in certain types of establishments,
as grocery store distributors. USDA could not easily track the individual
stores where those distributors sent the beef because of product mixing
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 41 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
and the distributors record-keeping practices. Generally, distributors
purchase beef from multiple sources, mix it in their inventory, and lose
track of the source of the beef they send to the stores that they
supply. To
deal with this problem, USDA first identified the dates when recalled beef
was shipped to the distributors and then asked for a list of the stores
were shipped any beef after those dates. Consequently, some stores were
included in the recall that may never have received recalled beef.
The recall was also complicated by repeated mixing of recalled beef with
nonrecalled beef, thereby increasing the amount of meat involved in the
recall. The recalling company slaughtered 23 cows on December 9, 2003,
and shipped those and 20 other carcasses to a primary customer on
December 10, 2003. The recalling companys carcasses were tagged to
identify the slaughter date and the individual cow. The primary customer
removed the identification tags and mixed the 23 recalled carcasses with
the 20 nonrecalled carcasses. Because the carcasses could not be
distinguished, the recall included all 43 carcasses at the primary
After one round of processing at the primary customer, the meat from the
carcasses was shipped to two other processing facilities. Both
establishments further mixed the recalled meat from the 43 carcasses with
meat from other sources. In all, the mixing of beef from 1 BSE-positive cow
resulted in over 500 customers receiving potentially contaminated beef.
Imprecise distribution lists and the mixing of recalled beef combined to
complicate USDAs identification of where the product went. Specifically,
on December 23, 2003, USDAs initial press release stated that the
company was located in Washington State. Three days later, on December
26, 2003, USDA announced that the recalled beef was distributed within
Washington and Oregon. On December 27, 2003, USDA determined that one
of the primary customers of the recalling firm distributed beef to
in California and Nevada, in addition to Washington and Oregon, for a total
of four states. On December 28, 2003, USDA announced that some of the
secondary customers of the recalling company may also have distributed
the product to Alaska, Montana, Hawaii, Idaho, and Guam, for a total of
eight states and one territory.
On January 6, 2004, over 2 weeks from recall initiation, USDA determined
that the beef went to only six statesWashington, Oregon, California,
Nevada, Idaho, and Montanaand that no beef went to Alaska, Hawaii, or
Guam. To reach that conclusion, USDA used the distribution lists, shipping
records, and sales invoices that it received from companies to piece
together exactly where the recalled beef may have been sent. The lists
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 42 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
showed that 713 customers may have received the recalled beef; 6 of those
may have received beef from more than one source. USDA determined that
176 customers on the lists did not actually receive recalled beef,
the customers in Guam and Hawaii. USDAs review also indicated that
recalled beef was probably not shipped to Alaska or Utah, and USDA
checked 2 retailers in Alaska and 3 retailers in Utah to confirm that
was the
case. In total, USDA conducted verification checks on 537 of the 713
customers on the lists. USDAs initial checks identified an additional 45
customers that may have received the recalled beef that were not included
on the distribution lists, for a total of 582 verification checks. Figure 4
summarizes USDAs verification efforts during the recall.
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 43 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
Figure 4: USDAs Recall Verification Checks by Location and Customer
Type for Meat Associated with the Animal Infected with
Note: USDA checked 15 primary, 40 secondary, and 526 tertiary customers
plus the recalling
company, for a total of 582 verification checks.
USDAs press release stated that the recall involved 10,410 pounds of beef
products, and the USDA recall coordinator for this recall told us that
downstream processors mixed the recalled beef with nonrecalled beef, for
a total of more than 38,000 pounds of beef that was distributed at the
secondary customer level. According to USDA officials involved with the
D = Distributor
R = Retailer
SF = Storage facility
P = Processor
Primary customers
(15 total)
(WA) 1 R
1 P
(WA) 1 P
1 P
11 R
Secondary customers
(40 total)
Tertiary customers
(526 total)
1 R
1 SF
3 D
3 D
2 dual D
59 R
79 R
5 R
3 R
4 R
161 R
8 R
15 R
2 R
31 R
(OR) 8 R
10 R
5 R
10 R
2 R
17 R
5 R
1 D
11 R
85 R
3 D
(OR) 11 R
2 D
(CA) 26 R
2 R
( ) Acronyms in parentheses are postal abbreviations for each state.
Source: GAO analysis of USDA verification check documents.
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 44 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
recall, the precise amount of meat that was sold at the retail level is
unknown because retailers at the tertiary level further mixed nonrecalled
meat with potentially contaminated meat. USDA told us that more than
64,000 pounds of beef was ultimately returned or destroyed by customers,
and that, because of the mixing, it was not able to determine how much of
the original 10,410 pounds of recalled beef was contained in the 64,000
pounds that were recovered.
FDAs Role in USDAs
Parts of the BSE-infected animal slaughtered on December 9, 2003, were
not used for food, but they were sent to renderers to be separated into raw
materials, such as proteins and blood. Rendered materials are used for
many purposes, including cosmetics and vaccines. FDA has jurisdiction
over renderers.
When USDA learned of the BSE-infected cow on December 23, 2003, the
agency immediately notified FDA. On December 24, 2003, FDA sent an
inspection team to a renderer that handled materials from the BSE cow.
Inspectors confirmed that the parts of the slaughtered BSE positive cow
were on the premises. FDA later identified a second company that
potentially rendered material from the slaughtered BSE cow. Both
renderers agreed to voluntarily hold all product processed from the
diseased cow and dispose of the product as directed by FDA and local
On January 7, 2004, 15 containers of potentially contaminated, rendered
material (meat and bone meal) were inadvertently loaded on a ship, and on
January 8, 2004, the ship left Seattle, Washington, for Asia. The renderer
initiated steps to recover the shipped material, so it could be disposed
of as
directed by FDA and local authorities. The ship carrying the material
returned to the United States on February 24, 2004, and the material was
disposed of in a landfill on March 2, 2004.
On January 12, 2004, FDA asked both renderers to expand their voluntary
holds to rendered materials processed from December 23, 2003, through
January 9, 2004, because they may have rendered some recalled meat or
trim that was recovered from retail establishments. Both renderers agreed
to the expanded product hold. In total, FDA requested that renderers
voluntarily hold approximately 2,000 tons of rendered material. FDA
confirmed that none of the potentially contaminated, rendered material
entered commerce, because FDA accounted for all rendered material. FDA
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 45 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
reported that no recall was necessary because no product was distributed
commercially by the rendering companies.
Worked Together on
the Recall
USDA and FDA worked together in two ways. First, both agencies notified
each other if their investigations yielded any information about products
within the jurisdiction of the other agency. For instance, when conducting
the second round of verification checks, USDA tracked the disposition of
the product to renderers and landfills and notified FDA when the product
went to renderers. Second, FDA officials helped conduct verification
checks. FDA conducted 32 of the 582 verification checks (approximately 5
percent) for the USDA recall. Officials from both agencies indicated they
regularly interacted and shared information. Table 3 outlines the agencies
Table 3: Detailed Timeline of USDA, FDA, and Company Actions Related to
the Discovery of an Animal Infected with BSE
Date USDA recall actions FDA actions Company actions
12/9/03 " USDA samples cow for BSE. " BSE cow is slaughtered.
12/11/03 " Sample is sent to Ames, Iowa, for BSE
" Recalling company sends
carcasses to primary customer for
12/12/03 " Primary customer sends meat
products to two other primary
customers for further processing.
12/12 -
" Other primary customers distribute
recalled product to secondary
" Secondary customers distribute
recalled product to tertiary
12/23/03 " BSE test results are presumptively
" Recall meeting.
" Initiation of voluntary recall.
" Press release.
" FDA notified of BSE test results.
" FDA dispatches investigation teams.
12/24/03 " FDA inspects Renderer 1.
" FDA determines some rendered
material from Renderer 1 is intended
for Indonesia.
" FDA discovers some material may
have been sent to Renderer 2.
" Renderer 1 agrees to hold remaining
rendered material.
" Recalling company contacts
primary customers.
" Primary customers contact their
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 46 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
12/25/03 " USDA receives confirmation from
reference lab in England that cow in
question is BSE positive.
12/26/03 " Verification checks begin
" USDA announces recalled product in
Washington State and Oregon.
" FDA begins process of comparing
records to ensure all products from
Renderers 1 and 2 are accounted for.
" Renderer 2 agrees to hold all material
that may have been derived from
BSE cow. None of the rendered
material has been distributed.
12/27/03 " USDA announces recalled product was
distributed in Washington State,
Oregon, California, and Nevada.
" FDA issues statement confirming that
the rendering plants that processed
all of the nonedible material from the
BSE cow have placed a voluntary
hold on all of the potentially infectious
product, none of which had left the
control of the companies and entered
commercial distribution.
12/28/03 " USDA announces recalled product was
distributed in Washington State,
Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana,
Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam.
12/29/03 " Food Safety and Inspection Service
determines that the recalled meat
products were distributed to 42
locations, with 80 percent of the
products distributed to stores in
Oregon and Washington State.
12/31/03 " FDA offers assistance to USDA to
complete recall verification checks.
1/6/04 " USDA determines recalled product
was only distributed in Washington
State, Oregon, California, Nevada,
Montana, and Idaho.
1/8/04 " FDA is notified by the renderer that
some of the rendered material on
hold from Renderer 1 was
inadvertently shipped to Asia.
Renderer 1 commits to isolate and
return the rendered material.
" Rendering company notifies FDA of
shipment of product on hold.
(Continued From Previous Page)
Date USDA recall actions FDA actions Company actions
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 47 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
Source: GAO analysis of USDA and FDA information.
1/12/04 " FDA advises Renderers 1 and 2 that
they may have rendered meat or trim
subject to recall from retail stores.
" FDA requests Renderers 1 and 2 to
place all rendered material from
December 23 to January 9 on hold.
" FDA determines neither renderer had
shipped rendered material
manufactured after December 23,
2/9/04 " All rendered material was disposed of
in landfill, except material shipped to
2/24/04 " Ship carrying rendered material
returns to U.S. port.
2/25/04 " Verification checks complete.
" USDA Boulder District Office
concludes recall is effective.
3/1/04 " Recall is closed.
3/2/04 " FDA observes disposal in landfill of
remaining rendered material...



1. Food Safety: USDA and FDA Need to Better Ensure Prompt and Complete
Recalls of Potentially Unsafe Food. GAO-05-51, October 7.tss
Highlights -

Subject: BSE--U.S. 50 STATE CONFERENCE CALL Jan. 9, 2001
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 16:49:00 -0800
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy BSE-L

Moms death from hvCJD




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