I spoke with Julie Schmit of USA TODAY during a layover in Dallas on my way home about her story this morning “Feds still tracing millions of pounds of recalled meat.” She reported that: “Federal officials said Thursday that more than a third of the meat recalled Sunday in the largest meat recall ever went to federal nutrition programs, and that 15.5 million pounds of that are still being traced. About 50.3 million of the 143 million pounds of meat recalled by Westland/Hallmark Meat were sold to federal programs, including the school lunch program. Of that, 19.6 million pounds were consumed and 15.2 million pounds have been found, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.” Although the size of the recall matters, here is the shocking part:

The department also said that all products that contained any of the recalled meat should not be consumed. That could include many more millions of pounds of product, ranging from spaghetti sauce to canned ravioli.

As I told her, extending the recall to include comingled and finished products is unheard of given no reports of illness and no hard evidence that the abused cattle were suffering from “Mad Cow” – cautious and safe, but unheard of.

"It’s really unprecedented given what appears to be no illnesses and an exceedingly low risk," said William Marler, a prominent plaintiff’s attorney.