Don’t fear the Meat

Liat Nosrati

The mistreatment of cows by the Hallmark Meat Packing Co. in Chino may have had the public worried – but there is nothing wrong with Pierce College’s meat supply, according to college officials.

A video released by the Humane Society of the United States earlier this year raised many concerns regarding school meat supply. The video exposed factory workers at the Chino-based plant kicking sick or injured cows, jabbing them in the eyes and even carrying them by forklift because they could not walk.

Being that the Hallmark Meat Packing Co. was one of the school nutrition program’s top suppliers, this left people feeling uneasy.

However, Linda Brown, Country Café manager, is sure that Pierce gets their meat from reputable companies: Sysco, of Los Angeles and U.S. Foods, of La Mirada.

“I have not heard anything from my suppliers,” Brown said. “When there is a problem, they contact me.”

Pierce has been working with Sysco for more than 30 years and has never had a problem with them. U.S. Foods has been doing business with Pierce since 2008 and there have not been any complaints so far.

The meat is delivered by the companies in refrigerated trucks and securely placed in the Pierce cafeteria freezer or refrigerator, depending on which product it is. Brown explained that these meat suppliers are well informed professionals.

“They are very safety conscious. Everything has to be up to code,” she stated. “If anything comes in damaged, they will come pick it up.”

With the “Brahma Bull,” a roast beef sandwich, listed as a “best-seller” at the Country Café, students do not seem to have a problem with the meat that is served at Pierce.

When asked about the incident at Chino and whether it affected his decision to eat at the cafeteria, Malachi Masibay Melling, a 19-year-old financing major, said, “I never thought twice.”

Carol Thomason, who has worked at Pierce’s cafeteria for almost 30 years, proudly explained that she is confident about the meat supply and the people she works with. Many students eat meat at the school’s cafeteria on a daily basis, but Saalik Khan, a 23-year-old environmental social science major, is not one of them.

“Even if it’s USDA-approved organic, I think it’s a scam,” said Khan, a vegetarian who does not trust the meat supply.

Pierce has been serving meat to students long before the Hallmark Meat Packing Co. was caught mistreating their cows. The cafeteria’s suppliers are required to inform Brown if something is contaminated and so far, nothing has ever been reported.

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