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On May 25, 2000, Judge Fish issued a decision in the Supreme Beef case, ruling that the presence of high levels of Salmonella in the
plant’s ground beef was not proof that conditions there were “unsanitary.” Fish endorsed one of Supreme Beef’s central arguments: a ground
beef processor should not be held responsible for the bacterial levels of meat that could easily have been tainted with Salmonella at a
slaughterhouse. The ruling cast doubt on the USDA’s ability to withdraw inspectors from a plant where tests revealed excessive levels of fecal
contamination. Although Supreme Beef portrayed itself in the case as an innocent victim of forces beyond its control, much of the beef used
at the plant had come from its own slaughterhouse in Ladonia, Texas. That slaughterhouse had repeatedly failed USDA tests for Salmonella.
Not long after the ruling, Supreme Beef failed another Salmonella test. The USDA moved to terminate its contract with the company and
announced tough new rules for processors hoping to supply ground beef to the school lunch program. The rules sought to impos...
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2014 for the course MGMT 120 taught by Professor Litt during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.
- Spring '08