Seattle schools to bury recalled beef at landfill

Seattle schools to bury recalled beef at landfill
The Seattle School District plans to bury a large volume of beef at a local landfill as part of the nation's largest recall of meat products.

About 230 cases of the recalled beef will be buried at Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley on Monday morning, said Seattle District spokesman David Tucker.

The beef was obtained through the federal school lunch program and originated from a California slaughterhouse, Hallmark-Westland Meat Packing Co., that has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The probe led the USDA to announce the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef from Hallmark-Westland Meat Packing Co.

Across the state, about 70 percent of school districts participate in the USDA lunch program and are disposing of recalled beef products, mostly in landfills, Skip Skinner, food distribution supervisor for the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, said Thursday.

Washington officials are holding about 340,000 pounds of beef that was scheduled to be shipped, and estimate an additional 250,000 pounds of the meat will be destroyed by school districts statewide.

The districts' disposal costs likely will be reimbursed by USDA through the state, Skinner said. He said he will work with the districts to help get rid of the meat, which will include detailed documentation of when and how it was destroyed.

The Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is owned by King County and operated by the Solid Waste Division. It receives nearly 1 million tons of solid waste a year.

The 920-acre landfill is located in Maple Valley, about 20 miles southeast of Seattle.