Put your steak on hold

The largest beef recall in United States history happened over the weekend, so consumers better put their steaks on hold until they check the packaging. Some 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse have been recalled. The questionable meat dates back to February 1, 2006 (who keeps their meat in the freezer that long?). Much of the beef supplied by Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. goes to federal programs, including school lunches.

The recall is based upon the fact that the plant violated health regulations and cattle didn't receive proper inspections. So far no illnesses have been reported, but employees have been charged with animal cruelty and illegal movement of animals. Reports say that some of the cows were too sick to even walk to the slaughterhouse.

The beef from Westland/Hallmark is sold in bulk packaging from distribution centers. It's unclear how much of the beef hasn't been consumed. Double check your packaging, and if you have any meat from that company, please throw it out immediately.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.