Rancho Feeding Closes Slaughterhouse After Recalling 'Unfit' Beef

Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 10:28 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Northern California slaughterhouse Rancho Feeding Corp. has voluntarily closed after it recalled 8.7 million pounds of beef products that the U.S. Department of Agriculture said was "unfit for human food."

The USDA's food safety and inspection service said in a news release that Rancho Feeding, in Petaluma, initiated the recall because "it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection."

The news released added that the 18 different products being recalled are "adulterated, because they are unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce."

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The Los Angeles Times reported that the recalled beef products include whole carcasses, beef heads, 30-pound boxes of beef oxtail and cheeks, along with 30- and 60-pound boxes of beef tongue, tripe and veal cuts.

On Jan. 13, the USDA announced that Rancho Feeding was recalling approximately 41,683 pounds from seven products made at the plant under similar circumstances.

"The problem was discovered as a result of an ongoing investigation," the agency said in its January news release. "FSIS believes the company produced product without full ante-mortem inspection as per federal regulations. FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider."

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that Robert Singleton, co-owner of Rancho Feeding, said the recall was made out of "an abundance of caution" but declined to comment on specific agriculture department allegations. Singleton co-owns the facility with Jesse "Babe" Amaral.

The Press Democrat said recalled products had been shipped to retailers and distributors in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

The Rancho Feeding recall was just one of the latest by the agricultural department. On Tuesday, it announced that the Prime Snax Inc., of Salt Lake City, was recalling 90,000 pounds of beef jerky products because of misbranding and an undeclared allergen.

The agency said the Arizona Jacks products were made with a releasing agent containing soy lecithin, a known allergen that is not declared on the label.

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