Beef sold at U.S. military bases has not been subject to recall due to the
recent case of mad cow disease in Washington state, according to officials
whose companies sell beef on bases.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 23 ordered a recall of beef
processed at a Washington slaughterhouse because a cow that passed through it
was found to have mad cow disease.
Humans who eat beef containing the agent for mad cow disease, or bovine
spongiform encephalopathy, can contract a fatal illness called variant
None of the beef subject to the Dec. 23 recall had been sent to the
commissaries, Burger Kings or Taco Bells on U.S. bases, officials with the
commissary and military exchange service said.
"No beef sold in commissaries was involved in the USDA recall," said Bonnie
J. Powell, a spokeswoman for the Defense Commissary Agency in Fort Lee, Va.
"[Army and Air Force Exchange Service] franchise partners have advised [us]
that AAFES has not received beef from Washington state," said Judd Anstey, an
AAFES spokesman in Dallas, in a written response to Stars and Stripes.
AAFES operates hundreds of Burger King, Taco Bell franchises and other food
vendors on U.S. bases.
The USDA recalled about 10,000 pounds of beef, at least 80 percent of which
was distributed to stores in Washington and Oregon.
Dr. Ken Peterson of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said since
the at-risk tissues of the diseased cow — the brain, spine and lower intestine
— were removed before the beef was processed, the recalled beef presented "an
essentially zero risk to consumers."
Powell said commissary customers can always return purchases for a full
Anstey said in his response that, "AAFES continues to work with franchise
partners and suppliers to ensure all beef is procured from sources other than
Anstey said that AAFES is working with the Department of Defense to make beef
purchases "based on the most current information available."
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