Skip navigation

‘Mad cow’ concerns spur beef tongue recalls

WASHINGTON Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. is recalling 5,522 pounds of beef tongues and J.F. O'Neill Packing Co. is recalling 33,000 pounds of tongues because tonsils may not have been completely removed in keeping with federal rules intended to reduce the risk of human exposure to “mad cow” disease, government officials said.

There is no indication that the cattle from which the tongues came were infected with deadly mad cow, which is formally known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE. Both recalls are Class II, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture characterizes as posing a “low” risk to health because “this is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”

The tongues from the Milwaukee-based Cargill plant were shipped to distribution centers in Illinois for further sale, the company indicated. Omaha, Neb.-based J.F. O’Neill indicated that its recalled products were shipped primarily to distribution centers in Nebraska and California for further sale to restaurants, hotels and institutions.

USDA rules require the removal of tonsils in cattle of all ages because they are considered a specified risk material, or SRM. SRMs are tissues known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with BSE, as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues.

Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the Cargill recall covers beef tongues processed between Oct. 12 and Oct. 14. The agency said that subject to the recall were various weight cases of Cargill "Beef Tongue #1 White,” each of which has establishment number "Est. 17690" on the product label.

The FSIS said the recall by J.F. O’Neill covers various weight cases of "Beef Tongues," each of which bears the establishment number "Est. 889A" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The J.F. O’Neill tongues were produced between July 1 and Oct. 8, and sold under the following brand names: J.F. O'Neill Packing Co., Whole Foods Natural, Whole Foods Organic, Premier Protein Partners, Montana Ranch Brand, Grassland Beef, Austin Meats, Morgan Ranch, Kobe Beef America, Imperial Wagyu Beef, Brand Advantage Wagyu, Brand Advantage Partners, Yamaya U.S.A. and A.D. Rosenblatt.

According to the FSIS, the J.F. O’Neill recall stemmed from a food safety assessment that the federal agency conducted at the company’s processing establishment. The Cargill recall stemmed from FSIS inspection activities, the agency added.

More information about the Cargill recall is available at the FSIS website at

Additional information about the J.F. O’Neill recall can be found on the following page at the FSIS website

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected]

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.