Price of beef going up because of recall

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - In response to the nation's largest beef recall, meat prices are climbing. Over the weekend, the USDA ordered 143-million pounds of frozen beef recalled.

This after an investigation into the processing practices of a meat packing company in California. It's a recall that will affect our wallets in the coming weeks.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has the details.

The recall is driving up the cost of processing, and that cost will eventually be passed on to you and me.

When Glen Crawford received this week's wholesale meat prices, they were up again.

"Twenty cents on the pound in one day. Doesn't sound like much, but when you buy as much as we do, it's alot," said Glen Crawford, owner of Crawford Farm Meats.

Glen orders 800 pounds of chuck a week. He's owner of Crawford Farm Meats in Union County, and his family's been in the meat processing business for decades.

"What we grind is the real chuck off the neck of the beef," Crawford said.

But this week's price jump continues a year-long trend in east Tennessee. Wholesale prices have jumped almost 50 cents a pound on chuck meat up to a $1.70 and up three dollars a pound on ribeye steaks to around seven dollars.

"The only thing that drops it down is when there's plenty for them grains, grass, corn for them to eat. You can buy them reasonable," Crawford said.

With last year's drought-like conditions in east Tennessee, many local farmers lost their animals and climbing gas prices also contributed to Crawford's higher operating costs, but as a smaller meat processing company, Crawford says he can still sell meat to his customers 30 percent cheaper than the big grocers, and that's no beef.

Meanwhile the investigation continues into the California meat packing company that sparked this record breaking beef recall. The U.S. Humane Society uncovered incidents where sick and crippled animals were being slaughtered, possibly tainting the meat. No sicknesses have been reported.

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