October 16, 2018

USDA Statement on Rancho Feeding Corporation Recall

The USDA released a statement on Thursday about the Rancho Feeding Corporation beef recall. The agency said earlier that the facility “processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.” The USDA’s Office of the Inspector General is conducting an investigation into the matter for possible criminal activities.

usdaartThe 27-word statement said that the USDA’s FSIS “inspectors were present at Rancho Feeds during normal operations as required by law. The ongoing investigation is associated with the company’s intermittent circumvention of inspection requirements.”

The recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef and veal products is now nationwide. There have been several secondary recalls of products made with the recalled beef, including Nestle Hot Pockets and beef jerky. No reports of illness have been associated with the recalled items, but we don’t know what diseases the cows may have had. The recall is a “Class I health hazard”, which means there is “reasonable probability of serious, adverse health consequences of death,” according to the USDA.

L.A. Weekly asked USDA press officer Richard McIntire if Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or Mad Cow Disease), E. coli contamination, or any other specific problem was the issue. He said there was no “indication of any illness.” But BSE and other illnesses, such as listeriosis, can take time to develop in human beings after they are exposed to the causative agent.

The Rancho Feeding Corporation slaughterhouse at the center of this controversy was just sold to Marin Sun Farms. The owners of that corporation said they are starting a new operation with new protocols and a new license from the USDA, and that they will upgrade the facility.

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