by Victor Lopez
ODESSA - According to a press release sent out by E.C.I.S.D. they have officially "closed the book on the recent beef recall."
The district was instructed on Monday to destroy all the meat and meat by-products they've been holding on to for several weeks.
Terry Gooch, School Nutrition Director for E.C.I.S.D. told NewsWest 9, "We've now gotten instruction from USDA and Texas Dept. of Agriculture to remove that administrative hold, and go to the next process, which is to destroy all of that meat on hand, get rid of it."
Pallet after pallet made their way out the loading dock door and on to a dump truck. Their final destination, the Ector County landfill. That's where E.C.I.S.D. was told to dispose of 35,000 pounds of raw beef.
Gooch says, "USDA is the one who has the rules set that they pass down to every state, but then we get our instruction from the Texas Department of Agriculture, that says, ‘okay, we're ready to do it, this is how we want you to proceed."
It's all pretty simple, but Gooch descirbed the role the health department played in the disposal process, "Today we've had the health department come out and verify all the meat as Westland Meat products. They looked at the lot numbers and made sure that they fall within the range that was given to us by USDA and TDA, and signed off, that that is all meat that needs to be condemned."
Once at the dumpsite, a bulldozer rolled over the meat, crushed it and eventually buried it under at least six feet of garbage and with good reason.
E.C.I.S.D. officials say, for a very good reason, "We want to make sure that everything is destroyed and that nothing can actually be picked up and put in someone's home freezer for future use."
Terry Gooch went on to say that the quality and security of the food served in E.C.I.S.D. cafeterias was never compromised and they knew, through lab tests, that the beef in question was good.
But even still, the recall happened, "because of the concerns raised by the Humane Society, and the way these animals were not treated humanely. There is the slight chance that some of these animals may have been sick or infected, but it didn't show up in lab tests."
It took two dump trucks, 4 trips each, to get all the beef out of the warehouse and safely disposed of, in the landfill.