Beef safe in S. Korea, military officials say
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Military officials say none of the beef imported for stores or eateries here is part of the “mad cow” recall in the United States.
Officials also have established a telephone hot line for base residents with questions or concerns. By calling DSN 723-4671, residents can leave a message with questions about measures U.S. Forces Korea has taken to prevent any meat tainted with the brain-wasting disease, known scientifically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, from reaching consumers overseas.
“Your health and safety are our top priorities,” the message says, after instructing callers to leave a detailed message with names and phone numbers.
Last week, military medicine and veterinary officials began special inspections of all beef products coming to the peninsula to ensure none of them came from plants or processing facilities which handled the tainted beef, officials said.
So far, U.S. officials have recalled more than 10,000 pounds of beef after officials discovered a cow infected with mad cow was slaughtered and mixed with meat from other cows at a Moses Lake, Wash., facility.
Originally, officials said the tainted beef had been shipped to eight states and Guam. On Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture removed Hawaii and Guam from that list.
U.S. military inspection teams checked beef products at all incoming facilities and bases on the peninsula and confirmed that none used by USFK was from the suspect facilities, officials said.
“None of our beef products in stock originated from the meat plant that processed this diseased cow, nor has any product been shipped to this location from that plant,” a USFK statement said.
The fatal mad cow disease attacks the brain and central nervous system of a cow. It is spread from one animal to another by ingestion of brain and spinal material.