The Newton County School System was notified on Feb. 4 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture has placed an administrative hold on certain cases of ground beef crumbles the district recently received. Upon notification, the school system immediately identified cases of beef from the list of "On Hold" lot numbers and isolated them from the rest of the food inventory.
According to the USDA, the hold is a result of an investigation for the possible inhumane treatment of cattle at a processing plant. It is not due to any type of food contamination or reports of food-borne illness.
The last time any beef crumbles were served in the school district was well before the USDA's notification to place certain cases of beef on hold. It is possible that some of the beef in question may have been used prior to that notification.
The district has not been notified of any reports of food-borne illness at any of the county schools. The USDA has not recalled the meat at this time or instructed the school system to destroy it.
The Georgia Department of Education has announced that the USDA has extended the hold until Wednesday. The beef on hold has been pulled and isolated from the rest of the school system's supply of beef crumbles and is not being served to students.
The Newton County School System has several alternative products available from its food vendor that can be ordered should the need arrive. As a result, there is no need to change school menus unless the district is notified that alternative items cannot be delivered prior to the menu date.
Newton County School System does not serve USDA raw beef products from any source in our schools. All beef products are fully cooked before they are ever delivered to the school system. Once at the school, beef crumbles are thoroughly heated again