- THE MAGAZINE
- FOOD MASTER
The owners of a slaughterhouse at the center of the largest beef recall in US history have agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleges they defrauded the US Government. Donald Hallmark Sr. and Donald Hallmark Jr. owned the now-defunct Hallmark Meat Packing Co., which came under fire by animal rights and food safety advocates when video surfaced in 2008 of employees using forklifts, electric prods and high-pressure hoses to force cattle onto their feet. Non-ambulatory cattle are banned from the human food supply due to concerns that they may be infected with diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. The USDA recalled 143 million pounds of beef that had been produced over two years at the facility, roughly one third of which went to schools. The Humane Society, which released the original undercover video, brought the suit which alleges that the company failed to adhere to federal regulations on the humane treatment of animals.