November 20, 2019

USDA Closes Central Valley Meat, Again

Central Valley Meat, a California slaughterhouse that supplies meat to the National School Lunch Program, has been closed by the USDA for unsanitary conditions, according to the Los Angeles Times. A recall has not been issued.

Ground Beef on PaperThe closure is the latest in a string of recent troubles for Central Valley, located in Hanford, CA. In 2012, the USDA closed operations at the plant for a week after a video by a nonprofit group showed workers mistreating animals.  And six months ago, the company recalled almost 90,000 pounds of meat that may have contained small pieces of plastic.

Details of the conditions discovered by USDA inspectors were not provided. But they said operations would be suspended until the compant had developed a corrective action plan.

The previous closure, in 2012, lasted one week. At that time, a notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) stated that the agency had “concluded its evaluation of the extensive corrective action plan submitted by Central Valley Meat Company to correct recent humane handling violations and has permitted Central Valley Meat to resume processing. As a result, the company will resume packing and shipping existing meat orders purchased by USDA for the National School Lunch Program.”

The National School Lunch Program is an $11 billion program managed by the USDA. It  operates in more than 100,000 schools nationwide, feeding about 32 million children each day.

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