Disgraced Meatpacker to Close Doors

Hallmark/Westland sees no hope of recovery after biggest recall ever
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 12:34 PM CST
Disgraced Meatpacker to Close Doors
Cattle carcases scraps are dropped into a parked truck at the Hallmark Meat Packing slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. Video footage showed workers at Hallmark Meat Packing repeatedly kicking cows and ramming them with the blades of a forklift as the animals squealed in pain....   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The biggest meat recall in history will put a fork in Hallmark/Westland, the meatpacker’s general manager told the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t see any way we could reopen,” he said. The USDA has said the California company could reopen under the right conditions, but demands that it pay for the meat’s destruction and replacement. “If the USDA wants payment back, we’re dead meat. We’re done.”

The general manager describes the company, which was pulling in about $100 million in annual sales, as “a small private company” in “a low-profit-margin business.” Cash is especially tight because the meatpacker has been closed since the Humane Society aired a video showing workers mistreating cattle, and many customers have stopped payment on recalled meat. Even if it had the cash to reopen, the USDA demands significant changes. (Read more Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. stories.)

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