Potentially botched cow tonsillectomies have sparked a recall of beef tongue products from a Wisconsin producer of organic and grass-fed meats, though the USDA has categorized it as a Class II recall indicating a low health risk.
According to the USDA announcement made Friday, regulations hold that all cattle must have their tonsils completely removed, because tonsils are considered a specified risk material for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or mad cow disease. However, a routine food safety inspection at Wisconsin's Black Earth Meat Market indicated that there might still be tonsils or tonsil parts attached to some of the company's tongues. While there is no indication that any of the cattle showed signs of BSE, the products have been recalled in the interest of safety.
About 99 pounds of Black Earth's "natural beef tongues" and "local beef tongue" products have been recalled. The Chicago Tribune reports that the products were sent to a restaurant in Wisconsin and a distributor in Illinois.