Clearly, someone jumped the gun.
Upwards of 7,000 pounds of raw beef that had been packaged and shipped off to stores in nine states had to be recalled last week, because it was shipped without first being inspected.
According to the official recall issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, federal officers discovered that the 7,146 pounds of beef, which had been produced and packaged by Texas Meat Packers, had not actually been inspected only after the products had reached stores.
The producer, based in Fort Worth, sent the beef to stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Texas.
While there have been no reports of sickness or illness related to the uninspected meat, the USDA points out that many shoppers may have stuck the beef into their freezers for later consumption.
The products in question are vacuum-sealed packages of beef marketed as "beef diced for tacos" and beef flank strips "for fajitas," and were sold both in freezers and as a fresh option.
If you believe you may have picked up a package of the beef, check your packaging—the recalled meat has a USDA mark with the label "EST. 34715." You can return any of the products to the supermarket where you purchased it from, or simply toss it.
This isn't the first time that American shoppers have concerns on the efficiency of food safety programs in the United States—in December, the Department of Health and Human Services released a sweeping report detailing how the Food and Drug Administration's recall protocol fails to adequately ensure food safety. For more information on how to decode recalls and ensure food safety in your own home, click here.